Philanthropy Australia Strategy to Embrace Change
Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 10:51
Philanthropy Australia's President Bruce Bonyhady. Photo courtesy Philanthropy Australia
Philanthropy Australia says it needs to embrace change and play a greater leadership role within the sector if it is to become a catalyst for greater giving at all wealth levels in the future.
Details of Philanthropy Australia’s strategic plans were unveiled at the philanthropic peak body’s Annual General Meeting in Melbourne.
PA President Bruce Bonyhady says the organisation has developed new core goals to lead, grow and strengthen the sector.
Bonyhady told the AGM that a much more diverse philanthropic sector had emerged in Australia in the past decade, with traditional trusts being joined by 1000 PAFs, a significant number of individual and family foundations with living donors, community foundation, corporates with community investment programs and many organisations that promote work-place giving, in-kind giving and volunteering.
He says there are important segments of the sector, both inside and outside Philanthropy Australia’s membership with ‘unmet needs’ and where the boundaries between grant-makers and grant-seekers and service providers are often blurred.
He told the meeting that PA’s lack of Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status is a major inhibitor to the organisation’s ability to source income to broaden the activities of public benefit.
He said while PA is unique amongst peak organisations that while it can accept membership fees from both grant-makers and grant-seekers it cannot seek grants or donations from the vast majority of foundations because they can only give to DGRs.
To progress towards DGR status PA must obtain consensus amongst members as to whether the primary purpose of the organisation is for the benefit of the Not for Profit sector across Australia or for the benefit of members. Bonyhady said a change of the organisation’s constitution may be required to achieve this.
Bonyhady told the meeting that it was also time to review the branding and the name Philanthropy Australia as the name may not be seen as relevant to all stakeholders and the next generation of givers.
He said while many people feel comfortable with the term philanthropy, others find it too exclusive.
He said if a name change is adopted it would be a matter of wide discussion and members would need to vote at a future AGM or Extraordinary General Meeting.
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