Philanthropy Missing Out on Shared Learnings – Report
1 December 2015 at 10:50 am
A new report has shown there is room for improvement in the way the Australian philanthropic sector collaborates and shares insights into its work.
The report, Key trends and best practice in philanthropy: an AMP Foundation and SVA perspective, said while the level of transparency in Australia in recent years appeared to have increased, many Australian philanthropic entities still did not voluntarily publish basic information such as general contact information and mission statements, a financial report or an annual report.
The report said the implications of these discrepancies for Australian Not for Profit organisations were that their learnings were not identified and shared between funders, and the reporting burden of NFP organisations to funders remained high, diverting efforts from their core business.
It said that due to a lack of co-funding, NFP organisations had to go to multiple funders across their life cycle and may struggle to get funding, preventing any scaling of their operations.
It also said the sustainability of Not for Profit organisations continued to be challenged as funding for core operations was limited.
“As with the global landscape, in Australia the evolution of philanthropy is resulting in philanthropic organisations having to address a more complex interplay of decisions than before, regarding how and what their philanthropic investment focus, style, infrastructure and risk profile should be and, for corporate philanthropic donors, what the relationship with their business should look like,” the report said.
“The successful execution of this new approach by corporate philanthropic donors in particular is critical to ensure that all resources are leveraged to produce maximum social benefit and in some instances targeted commercial returns.”
Nick Elliott from SVA Consulting said that while these global trends in philanthropy were being echoed in Australia, the research highlighted the lack of comprehensive and consistent information available about the structure, activities and impact of many philanthropic entities.
“Until greater transparency and openness is achieved, we will not have a deep understanding of the drivers of the issues we are working to tackle, what works to create change, and how together we can have the most impact,” Elliot said.
AMP Foundation Chairman, Richard Grellman, said he hoped the report would help guide other philanthropic organisations through the complex set of investment decisions they faced.
“The AMP Foundation understands there are challenges across the new philanthropic landscape. The insights and recommendations provided by SVA Consulting – among them the need for greater collaboration – have helped us determine the best way to maximise our social impact,” Grellman said.