Advertisement

Good360 leaderboard ad
Close Search
 
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
News  |  PhilanthropyGiving trends

The top end of philanthropy surges in 2019


7 May 2020 at 8:11 am
Maggie Coggan
The Paul Ramsay Foundation is once again the nation’s biggest giver


Maggie Coggan | 7 May 2020 at 8:11 am


0 Comments


 Print
The top end of philanthropy surges in 2019
7 May 2020 at 8:11 am

The Paul Ramsay Foundation is once again the nation’s biggest giver

The amount of money donated by Australia’s 50 biggest philanthropists last year has jumped to $748 million, the highest on record since the inception of the Financial Review Philanthropy 50 list. 

Overall giving in Australia normally rises in value between five and six per cent, but this year’s list saw giving levels rise 35 per cent. 

The minimum amount of money donated to make it onto this year’s list also soared, going from $3.6 million in the previous year to $4.3 million in the 2019 financial year.  

The list’s compiler, John McLeod, told Pro Bono News this pointed to an overall growth in larger donations.   

“It has risen each year we’ve done the list, but this is an extraordinary jump,” McLeod said. 

The Paul Ramsay Foundation once again took out top spot on the list, nearly doubling the amount spent in the 2019 financial year from $85.8 million to $158 million. 

But McLeod said this jump wasn’t totally unexpected. 

“The size of the foundation’s corpus has it now moving towards full scale operation,” he said.  

Andew and Nicola Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation took out second place at $75.4 million, and Judith Neilson jumped from 16th to third place for her independent journalism initiative at $48.9 million. 

McLeod said that one factor that boosted this year’s total was the number of significant one-off bequests, with this year’s biggest coming from the estates of James and Diana Ramsay ($38 million) and Bruce and Jenny Pryor ($22 million).

“That can be just a happenstance thing for that particular year, but it did boost things along quite substantially,” he said. 

The AFR said that because the cut-off for this year was June 2019, the impact on philanthropy around the bushfires and battling coronavirus would be reflected in future lists. 

While the pandemic could mean mass-market giving in Australia falls by nearly 20 per cent by the end of next year, the impacts on the nation’s wealthiest foundations could be delayed.  

McLeod said that for the private ancillary funds (PAFs) on the list, such as the Paul Ramsay Foundation, their giving would actually grow. 

“Because PAFs will give off what their assets were worth in June 2019, what they’re giving will actually grow in that year,” he said. 

It will be a different story for charitable trusts that give away money depending on income levels, but McLeod said the higher-end organisations still wouldn’t suffer nearly as much as mass-market ones, which for some in the sector was good news. 

“Those organisations which are more reliant on high-end donors should hold up a bit better than some of the bigger, large-scale, mass-market type charities,” he said.  


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

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 or download our contributor guidelines.

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

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



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Philanthropy’s generosity remains strong… but for how long?

Maggie Coggan

Wednesday, 3rd June 2020 at 1:49 pm

COVID-19 set to cause a major giving downturn

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020 at 5:35 pm

How the world gives during a time of social dislocation

Emma Sakellaris

Wednesday, 8th April 2020 at 3:56 pm

Alternatives to strategic philanthropy are emerging

Teri Behrens

Thursday, 20th February 2020 at 8:22 am

Advertisement

Good360 leaderboard ad
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook
×

We need your help.

Our COVID-19 coverage has driven our website traffic up by 250%. But we are seeing a huge fall in advertising, which is how we fund our free news service. This is hard for us to ask knowing how tough times are for everyone. But now is the time to show us you value our work.

 Make a contribution 

You have Successfully Subscribed!