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There are tens of thousands of charities in Australia that you could donate funds to.

With the start of a new calendar year, we are only a few months away from the FY21 granting period.  It is the perfect time to check in on your philanthropic approach and reflect, ‘what kind of impact do I want my philanthropy to have this year?’, ‘am I granting to charities in the best way’, ‘do I need to review my strategy’?

Last year, adjusting the giving strategy to accommodate disaster response was top of mind for many of our families. 

What will 2021 mean for your strategy?

Carving out the time to reflect on these questions can be difficult in our busy lives but doing so tends to lead to more considered and effective granting and greater personal satisfaction.

We encourage our philanthropic families to reflect on / revisit the family’s mission, vision and values. This is a helpful way to evaluate new organisations and opportunities, and ensure that no matter which organisations you support, or whatever learnings you experience along the way, you keep moving towards achieving the social change you’re aiming for.

A recap on things to consider:


What is the objective/s you want to achieve with your giving? (for example, ‘Improve the ability of mid-career researchers to maintain their career trajectory while they start a family’.)


What does the community look like if you were to achieve your mission?


What are your core family values? How do they influence your philanthropy? Do the organisations you support reflect your personal family values?

Risk appetite

Are you open to new ideas and concepts or do you prefer a tried-and-tested approach?


How do you know if your giving has been successful? How do you know whether you’re getting better at the practice of philanthropy and maximising your impact?

Enduring legacy

Will a family member or trusted associate be available to work with us on making granting decisions for your legacy into perpetuity?

There are tens of thousands of charities in Australia that you could donate funds to.

The first step is understanding which ones you’d like to donate to and why; considering the questions above will help you find the way forward for your giving.

The second step is how to donate funds in a manner that is thoughtful, conducive to helping the charity address the specified problem, and with mechanisms in place to ensure you’re achieving what you set out to do.

Here are a few other questions which might help you think it through:

What am I accountable for?

How much time, funds or influence are you prepared to commit to the organisation and are all stakeholders aware of this?

Is this a one-off gift or am I prepared to enter into a multi-year arrangement?

Multi-year giving helps the charity deliver the project or work sustainably without needing to frantically source alternative funds. Usually, multi-year arrangements are for $5,000+ donations and dependent on annual project reports or feedback.

How big is the problem and what/who will it take to resolve it?

The bigger the problem, the more collaboration is required to tackle it. Sometimes this is collaboration you can encourage, influence or even lead yourself. Collaboration can occur between charities and/or philanthropists all working towards a common goal.

What about funding the boring stuff (capacity-building)?

Running a charity costs money. Although exorbitant administration costs should be carefully evaluated, there is no getting around the fact that it’s often the basic costs of operation – such as attracting talented employees and ‘keeping the lights on’ – that charities need funding support for in order to continue delivering their services.

Is there opportunity to be flexible or responsive?

The disasters of 2020 demonstrated the need for philanthropy to listen to the sector, ask where funds needed to be directed to have greatest impact and deliver funds quickly and without restriction. 

How much?

Size matters. You only have a finite amount of funds and dividing them between too many charities begins to dilute the impact of your contribution. Relative to your available funds, how many charities should you support to maximise your impact?  Should you factor a disaster response component into your annual allocation?

Pondering these questions can help you engage in more purposeful and enriching philanthropy. It may lead you to a framework that determines which charities best resonate with you; the goal that you or your family are trying to achieve; and how you interact with the charities you choose to support.

If you’d like us to assist you in thinking through any of these points, contact your Relationship Manager.