We are aware that the COVID-19 pandemic is presenting numerous challenges for us all.

Supporting the For Purpose sector through our philanthropic funding is the reason the Equity Trustees Charitable Trusts and Philanthropy team exists.

And right now we know the sector is in great need.

We understand:

  • That costs have increased for all organisations, particularly for-purpose organisations that are working with vulnerable client groups such as the elderly, and this is creating financial uncertainty.
  • Organisations who rely on volunteers to help them fulfil their mission are experiencing challenges as volunteer numbers drop in response to the advice around social distancing and other recommendations.
  • Those for-purpose organisations that earn revenue through trade or the provision of services are also experiencing disruption that is resulting in challenges to their bottom line.
  • Fundraising events are being postponed or cancelled.
  • Many cultural venues and other community meeting places are being closed to the public to assist to contain to spread of the virus. This will present challenges to these organisations and venues in fulfilling their purpose and generating revenue.

We know all the above may create difficulty and isolation for those individuals impacted who rely on these services, organisations and experiences for support and social connection.

It is in this context that we offer the following support  

If your organisation currently receives grant funding from us, and it, or the people and communities you serve, are affected by the pandemic, we are committed to working with you as best as we can to enable you to get through this by:

  • Listening to you – we are here if you want to talk to us about the current or potential impact on your work.  In many cases we will reach out to you to check-in but if it isn’t the right time for you, we will respect that and wait until timing is right.
  • Being flexible financially– we know you may want to divert project-based funding to more critical areas of your operations.  We will be reasonable if you need to apply grant funds differently to ensure your work and your organisation can continue, but please make sure you speak to us first.
  • Adapting with your changing needs – we recognise that you may experience difficulties undertaking some of the activities you had planned or achieving some of the outcomes we agreed for your grant.  Let us know about these impacts and how we can best adapt with you.
  • Being flexible with dates – we don’t want to add pressure to your organisation, so if you think you will struggle to meet a reporting deadline please get in touch with us so that we can agree a more realistic timeline.  Where you are part way through a multi-year grant and can’t supply your report and other paperwork by the due date, but want your next instalment paid, let’s talk about how we can support that.
  • Working collaboratively with other funders – we will share with our networks what we are learning about the impacts on the for-purpose sector to enhance the understanding of more funders, and we will actively listen to what other funders are learning.

We are available

While we remain open for business as usual, our Philanthropy team is currently operating a rotating schedule of team members working from home.

Furthermore, we are postponing or cancelling events as appropriate and moving meetings to telephone or videoconference wherever possible. 

We continue to be available by phone and email and will endeavour to remain responsive and accessible to our grant partners and the for-purpose sector more generally.

Please do not hesitate to contact your Grant Manager directly or contact us via charities@eqt.com.au to provide or receive further updates.

Finally

As our world and more immediate community rises to what is ahead, we know that Philanthropy has a useful role to play in supporting organisations as new and emerging needs arise.  Like other responsible philanthropists, we are seeking to face into this responsibility and work with others to collectively demonstrate the best of ourselves.

Our company-wide response to this pandemic is available here.

If you are a not-for-profit investment client of Equity Trustees and want to know more about the likely future impact on your investments, please contact your Relationship Manager.

If you are a charitable beneficiary of one of the non-discretionary perpetual charitable trusts managed by Equity Trustees, we will update you with further information via our website as we are able to.