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The 2019 Annual Giving Review provides an update on our journey toward impact. This assists us in better understanding where and how funds should be deployed for maximum community benefit.  

In addition, the Annual Review analyses the giving data from the 2019 financial year from the 650+ charitable trusts and bequests managed by Equity Trustees as well as key examples of programs funded on our journey toward impact.

2019 was a record-breaking year of giving for Equity Trustees, distributing over $124m to the community, making us the most significant source of philanthropic funding from a single professional trustee company in Australia for 2019.

The cause area and geography of the funding in 2019 remained fairly stable. However,  we did see changes in the approach that the Equity Trustees team took to granting funds, especially where we have discretion as Trustee.

General Manager of Charitable Trusts and Philanthropy, Jodi Kennedy said: “We’re working closely with the for-purpose sector and taking their advice on where money needs to be directed to get real and sustainable change in addressing long term social issues.  This has meant we’ve looked at where we can direct larger, or more ongoing funding commitments over years and with a particular emphasis on helping to build the capacity of the sector”.

journey towards impact

We are evolving beyond the responsible stewardship of philanthropic funds to actively ensuring that those funds are applied effectively to create lasting positive change.

It’s about using the discretion we have been entrusted with in a strategic and coordinated way, so that we are not simply ‘giving money away’ but collaborating with our partners in driving positive, long-term social change across Australia.  Part of this responsibility is using our influence to stand up for the rights of those in the sector and helping organisations acquire the tools and knowledge they need to become more robust, dynamic and mission-focussed.

The Annual Review showcases the five main areas where Equity Trustees focusses its discretionary granting.  These focus areas ensure that:   

  • Young people have opportunities for great futures
  • People age well and die well
  • Equitable health outcomes for all Australians are achieved
  • The natural environment thrives sustainably
  • The for-purpose sector is strong and vigorous.

We started this journey towards being a more effective funder with the development of our blueprint for deepening community impact. This provided our team with a framework for mapping where and how we needed to make changes to the way that we have traditionally approached our funding.

Giving Review Launch – Melbourne

Before Australia activated measures to control the COVID-19 outbreak, Equity Trustees was able to share the 2019 Annual Giving Review with our Victorian network.  On 18 February 2020, the Giving Review was launched at The Ghost of Alfred Felton, a venue on the top floor of St Kilda’s iconic Esplanade Hotel (View photo gallery)

It was fitting that the report was launched at this venue, the former home of one of our philanthropists, Alfred Felton.  Read more about the Felton Bequest here.

Read the media release here and the full 2019 Annual Giving Review here.