Disability Housing Conference
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
NEWS  |  General, Politics, Research

Report Reveals Data Deficit in Australian Philanthropy


Tuesday, 5th April 2016 at 8:40 pm
Lina Caneva, Editor
A new US-Australia collaborative study has exposed a “data deficit” when it comes to information about Australian philanthropy and what it is funding.

Tuesday, 5th April 2016
at 8:40 pm
Lina Caneva, Editor


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Report Reveals Data Deficit in Australian Philanthropy
Tuesday, 5th April 2016 at 8:40 pm

A new US-Australia collaborative study has exposed a “data deficit” when it comes to information about Australian philanthropy and what it is funding.

The report, US Foundation Funding for Australia, highlighted what it said was much better data on the grant making of US foundations in Australia than there was for Australian foundations.

Philanthropy Australia partnered with the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney and the Foundation Center to publish the report which detailed the grant making priorities of US foundations in Australia.

“With this initiative, we’re aiming to start a discussion about the benefits of transparency and openness and how it supports collaboration, increases impact, and educates the community about the role and contribution of philanthropy,” the report said.

It found that between 2011 and 2013, 71 US foundations awarded 393 total grants to 208 recipients totaling US$95.1 million (A$125.16 million) to Australia, and more than half of all grant dollars (52 per cent) were explicitly designated for economically disadvantaged groups.

Philanthropy Australia CEO Sarah Davies said the report did much more than provide a useful picture of US philanthropy in Australia.

“It also exposes the data deficit we have when it comes to Australian philanthropy. We have nothing like Foundation Center’s database, which maps grants by US foundations,” Davies said.

“The fact is we know more about the granting practices of US foundations and their Australian grant recipients than we do about Australian foundations.

“Philanthropy Australia believes that this needs to change. Bradford Smith’s foreword to this report highlights the benefits of transparency and openness.”

Davies said Philanthropy Australia would be seeking to work with its members and partners, such as Foundation Center, to develop the tools needed to better share data on Australian philanthropy and take advantage of the benefits that the report described.

“Providing new insights into where Australian philanthropic investment is directed will help us all increase our effectiveness. In this regard, this report is just the beginning of an exciting and important journey,” she said.

The report said that the primary goal of the partnership was to improve awareness and understanding in Australia of the US philanthropic sector, while also strengthening philanthropic ties between the two countries and demonstrating the value of transparency within the Not for Profit sector.

It examined the priorities of US foundation funding to organisations located in Australia, as well as funding for organisations supporting causes in Australia.

The report also showed that health drew the largest proportion of grants awarded to and for Australia, accounting for $40.5 million in giving and 43 per cent of total grant dollars. It said this was driven largely by funding by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which was responsible for 73 per cent ($29 million) of health-related grantmaking.

It found that almost all grant dollars in the sample (86 per cent) were made directly to organisations located in Australia. Of the top 20 recipients, 16 are located in Australia and the remaining four are in the US with programs focused on Australia.

Among grant dollars awarded to recipients in Australia, organisations located in Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland received roughly equal amounts of funding (around $22 million each).

The largest funder to Australia was the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, followed by Atlantic Philanthropies and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

The top recipient of US foundation funding was the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, which received $9 million. The majority of the top recipients, 55 per cent, were universities.

The report said that US foundations awarding grants to Australia had a variety of motivations for funding in Australia. Some had personal connections to the country, while corporate foundations were likely to invest in areas where they had offices.

It found that both US and Australian funders focused on a broad spectrum of key social issues, among them income inequality, climate change, education, and the challenges facing rural and indigenous populations.

“Similar to NGOs in the US, key challenges faced by Australian NGOs included building greater capacity to measure outcomes and ensuring long-term fiscal sustainability,” the report said.

“There is a dearth of information about philanthropy in Australia that limits collaboration and coordination. As funders strive to become more effective and increase their impact, many agree that greater transparency and sharing of information are important.”

The report was released in Sydney on Monday and will be launched in Melbourne on Wednesday.


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years, and Editor of Pro Bono Australia News since it was founded in 2000.


Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

US Foundation Pledges $150 Million to Fix Gaps in Impact Investing

Luke Michael

Friday, 15th March 2019 at 4:39 pm

Concerns Raised Over Government’s Domestic Violence Plan

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 6th March 2019 at 5:23 pm

NFPs Rethink Opioid Flushed Gifts

Maggie Coggan

Monday, 25th February 2019 at 4:53 pm

POPULAR

Tech Giant Launches Foundation to Tackle Indigenous Disadvantage

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 5th March 2019 at 5:09 pm

Cafe Roasted for ‘Appalling’ Sign Mocking Disability Abuse

Luke Michael

Thursday, 7th March 2019 at 5:18 pm

Concerns Raised Over Government’s Domestic Violence Plan

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 6th March 2019 at 5:23 pm

The NDIS is Not Medicare

Fran Connelley

Tuesday, 5th March 2019 at 8:31 am

Disability Housing Conference
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!