Stories in philanthropy

‘You don’t need to be mega-wealthy to make a difference’:
John Grenshaw

Retired financial adviser, John Grenshaw, is among a growing number of unassuming philanthropists who are quietly demonstrating that philanthropy doesn’t have to be a complicated exercise requiring a billion-dollar bank account. More >


The Support Report: John McLeod

Philanthropy Australia Council member and author of JBWere’s Support Report, John McLeod, shares insights and implications stemming from the changing nature of giving as well as some thoughts about the Philanthropy 50 list of the year’s biggest private givers. More >

Joining the dots: Lin Bender, AM

“The funding that is given to a service provider is just one part of the equation, and it’s not the most important part,” says Lin Bender. The Helen Macpherson Smith Trust CEO on the importance of looking to the past to determine the future, reframing failure and why the organisation’s open-door policy has become one of her greatest joys. More >

Show me the impact: The new philanthropic imperative

Next-gen donors, armed with more resources than ever before, are determined to revolutionise giving and achieve progress on some of the world’s most intractable issues. Dr Michael Moody, co-author of ‘Generation Impact’ says the biggest consequence of the ‘Impact Revolution’ is that non-profits must adapt the way they engage big donors. More >

Sustaining the force for good: AEGN’s 10th anniversary conference

Environmental funders, perhaps like no other philanthropic collective, have an acute appreciation of the urgency and complexity of their cause and scale of their task. Though you’d be forgiven for expecting hand-wringing and the odd note of despair when they come together for the annual AEGN conference, you might just be surprised at how determinedly upbeat they are. More >

Strike the match: Philanthropy’s role in supporting movements

“Move your money, go to the rally, lift up your advocacy voice and speak truth to power,” urges Ellen Dorsey, Executive Director of the Wallace Global Fund, who is in Australia for the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network’s 10th anniversary conference. More >

Balnaves Foundation backs reporting of Indigenous affairs

Hamish Balnaves says the $300,000 grant to the Guardian’s Civic Journalism Initiative is designed to support quality reporting that holds government to account and tells stories that otherwise wouldn’t get told. More >

It takes two: QCoal Foundation and RFDS

The QCoal Foundation and Royal Flying Doctors Service Queensland share the story of how a new community dental service helped 8,000 patients in remote communities and achieved sustainability after securing federal government funding. More >

“We’re not telling people what to do. We just want to show what’s possible.”

President and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies, Christopher G. Oechsli, takes a deep dive into lessons learned while executing the $8 billion philanthropic vision of entrepreneur Chuck Feeney, aka the ‘James Bond of Philanthropy’. More >

Innovation alone isn’t enough to achieve impact: The McConnell Foundation

Stephen Huddart, President and CEO of one of the world’s leading social innovation foundations, shares his thoughts on philanthropy’s role in protecting democratic discourse, the complexity and necessity of funding First Nations issues, and why the Foundation holds retreats for non-profit leaders. More >

From impatience to action: Millennial philanthropy and NEXUS

Next-gen philanthropist and Chair of the 2018 NEXUS Australia Youth Summit, Rachel English, on why we need to build, share, learn and create new solutions to old problems (with an apology to her Dad). More >

2018: The year ahead

Resolutions? Intentions? Directions? 39 leaders from across the philanthropic community share their priorities for 2018. More >

Next-gen donors: What you need to know

Philanthropy Australia CEO, Sarah Davies, unpacks the priorities and preferences of next-generation givers. More >

Do the most you can for those you serve: Lisa Cotton

It would be tough to find a bigger champion of democratised philanthropy than Lisa Cotton, co-founder of The Funding Network. As she prepares to step down from her role as CEO, she reflects on the growth of collective giving, changes in the sector and the challenges that lie ahead. More >

Reader’s choice: Top 10 stories

2017 was a BIG year for philanthropy in Australia and there was no shortage of inspiring stories to tell. Here are the ten most read stories we shared with the sector in 2017. More >

2017 highlights and lowlights

Forty leaders from across the philanthropic spectrum share their thoughts about hits and misses and who impressed them in 2017. More >

Why we need philanthropy champions

Philanthropy Australia President, Alan Schwartz AM, calls for more visionary Australians, from all business sectors and backgrounds, to join the impact movement by using their private wealth for public good. More >

Never assume, never presume: Sylvia Admans

The R E Ross Trust CEO reflects with characteristic frankness on almost two decades’ worth of philanthropic experience before she steps down in January 2018.  More >

Funding tomorrow, today: AMP Foundation

As the AMP Foundation marks its 25th anniversary, CEO Helen Liondos shares lessons learned, her thoughts on the changing nature of corporate philanthropy and even a couple of stories of failure. More >

Key learnings from 2017 UK Study Tour

Eight days, three cities, nine UK trust and foundations, one conference: 19 members of Australia’s philanthropic community headed to the UK for this year’s study tour. Here are the highlights. More >

Celebrating community and philanthropy partnerships

Community and Philanthropy Partnerships Week (Nov 20-26) is a time to celebrate and recognise the positive impact of philanthropic partnerships in our communities. More >

The journey is the learning: Paul Wheelton

Paul Wheelton AM shares thoughts about his PhD in hindsight, what it feels like to be the only male delegate at an international conference of high net worth donors, and more. More >

Dive in. Take Action: Este Darin-Cooper

Next-gen philanthropist Este Darin-Cooper shares light bulb moments from her giving journey which have not only informed her philanthropy, but shaped her professional career. More >

Community Foundations Forum 2017

The annual National Community Foundations Forum (NCFF17), held October 17-19 in Melbourne, took a deep dive into the SMIRF capital of community foundations. (And no, that does not include little blue creatures). More >

Big bets and spending down: The Poola Foundation

Few Australian funders have made a visionary bet as big and bold as the Poola Foundation which wrapped up its operations in 2016. Founders Eve Kantor and Mark Wootton share the story of their philanthropic journey. More >

Opening doors: The Snow Foundation

Georgina Byron explains why humility, collaboration and transparency are the cornerstones of The Snow Foundation’s philanthropy. More >

Lessons from the trenches: Ian Darling

The Philanthropy Leader of the Year on storytelling for social change, leadership lessons from the Richmond Football Club and what it takes to stop your philanthropic dollars from going backwards. More >

Insights from SEWF2017

Allan English, Jan Owen, Kevin Robbie, Catherine Brown, Dan Madhavan, Jay Boolkin and David Brookes share their reflections from the 2017 Social Enterprise World Forum. More >

Give. Stand. Respect. Highlights from Philanthropy Meets Parliament

The 2017 Philanthropy Meets Parliament Summit brought funders, nonprofits and policy makers together for two days of inspiring keynotes, case studies and challenging conversations about philanthropy’s role in advocating for change. More >

Environmental philanthropy meets Parliament

The Australian Environmental Grantmaker Network event saw three funders and a government representative wrestle with what constitutes advocacy, the threat to DGR status for some environmental charities, impact investing and more. More >

Standing up for diversity and inclusion: The Channel

“There was no major trust or foundation in Australia that named LGBTIQA+ as a focus area, yet the need within this community is very real. That’s why The Channel was born.” - Georgia Mathews, Founding Director More >

“Advocacy fuels the power of justice” – Daniel Lee

“We need to embrace advocacy as a high impact, high leverage strategy,” Lee told delegates at the Philanthropy Meets Parliament Summit. “Advocacy is not a minefield of risk, but a garden of opportunity.” More >

The Power of Narrative: Philanthropy and Storytelling

It’s not that we’re short on great stories—they’re everywhere. We hear, see and experience them every day in our work to catalyse positive social change. The story opportunities in philanthropy flow as bountifully as the chocolate river in Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory. More >

Let all the flowers bloom: Genevieve Timmons

Big-hearted leader, passionate advocate and mentor to many, Genevieve Timmons, who recently received an honorary doctorate from Swinburne University, is one of the most beloved figures in Australian philanthropy. More >

Dr Andrew Lu: Art, law and a First Fleet piano

Western Australia’s Andrew Lu is shaping a personal philanthropic path that supports Australia’s contemporary arts while preserving the country’s often forgotten artistic heritage. More >

How to be an effective funder

Tom Keenan knows a thing or two about grant making. After five years at the Origin Foundation, Keenan was hand-picked to scope and lead the Audi Foundation which exists to help strengthen the communities in which it operates. More >

Equity Trustees’ new head of philanthropy

Equity Trustees’ new head of philanthropy Jodi Kennedy brings experience and a vision for shared learnings to the leadership role at one of the country’s biggest philanthropic funders. More >

Taking a stand: Levi Strauss Foundation

Ahead of his visit to Australia for the Philanthropy Meets Parliament Summit next month, Daniel Lee, CEO of the Levi Strauss Foundation, explains why the Foundation isn’t afraid to put its reputation and influence on the line in pursuit of its values. More >

Fostering pluralism and discovery: Philanthropy’s true purpose

Stanford Professor Rob Reich explains why he believes small philanthropic foundations shouldn’t exist, why perpetuity is problematic, and why philanthropy is asking the wrong questions. More >

Powerful and accessible philanthropy: What we know about collective giving

New research commissioned by the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership confirms that collective giving is one of the most engaging and promising ways to grow philanthropy in Australia. More >

Philanthropy and democratic societies

Does philanthropy support or subvert the democratic process? It’s a question that’s getting a lot of air time in the US right now and a few murmurs here in Australia where a discussion of philanthropy’s role in democratic societies was the focus of a recent public event convened by Perpetual and Stanford’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS). More >

For the love of a good challenge - Jan Robins

Retirement isn’t a word that resonates with Jan Robins, the soon-to-depart CEO of the Colonial Foundation. Fourteen years ago she announced her intention to retire but inspired by a close friend, Jan opted to use her skills and knowledge to help others. More >


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