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Discover the joy of giving

Discover the joy of givingMost Australians don’t know this but I’ll let you in on the secret: giving away money is far more exciting than how you made the money in the first place. Contributing and giving back to the community is such a rewarding experience for the people who do it, writes Dianne Jickell of Philanthropy Australia.

Philanthropy Australia defines philanthropy as the ‘planned and structured giving of, time,information, goods and services, voice and influence, as well as money, to improve the wellbeing of humanity and the community’.

You only need to look at how deep Australians of all income levels are willing to dig when disasters strike to see the huge capacity for monetary philanthropy we have as a country. The problem is we don’t make it a part of our everyday lives as much as we could. We need to encourage donors to talk about their giving. We need more role models. We need to be inspired.

Australia doesn’t lack a culture of giving, we lack a culture of asking. Often high net-worth people are approached in the wrong way by not-for-profits and charities. They are asked for the wrong things or by the wrong person and this gives them a very negative view on philanthropy. There are so many different ways to go about giving in Australia; they just haven’t been put in touch with the one that’s right for them. If you’ve ever been turned off from the notion of giving, I encourage you to give it another try. It’s such a diverse sector, with something suited to everyone.

Some types of planned giving require no further work on your part, and if you so choose, can continue to provide a lasting and living memorial beyond the end of your life. During the twentieth century, the most common way that philanthropic trusts and foundations came into existence was by wealthy Australians leaving money in their wills. These include some of Australia’s largest funders such as the Alfred Felton Bequest and the Sidney Myer Fund. However, these days, the idea of ‘giving while you’re living’ is becoming more and more popular. People can get enormous joy out of giving and seeing the good the transformative role played by their donations.

Two of the most popular structures we see among new donors are Private Ancillary Funds and Public Ancillary Funds. Both types of fund are usually income tax exempt. In the case of Private Ancillary Funds, there are guidelines and deeds available from the Australian Taxation Office, and are commonly used by families as a way for parents, children and grandchildren to all get involved together in giving. They’re relatively simple to set up and offer a light weight framework for an annual approach to structured giving.

At the really radical end of the spectrum of options, our New Generation of Giving program focuses on the people under 40, who are getting involved in philanthropy. When you talk about living philanthropy or giving, they’re the new age. They like to get their hands dirty, to be really involved and innovative. This is the sexy part of the philanthropic sector — fundraising apps,giving circles, crowd funding. It’s the next development in philanthropy, building on traditional grant-making and taking it in new directions.

Giving is for everyone. Don’t be the one to miss out. It will enrich your life in ways you can’t imagine.

“You only need to look at how deep Australians of all income levels are willing to dig when disasters strike to see the huge capacity for monetary philanthropy we have as a country.“

Philanthropy Australia is the national peak body for philanthropy and is a non-profit membership organisation. Members are trusts and foundations, families and individuals who want to make a difference through their own philanthropy and to encourage others to become philanthropists.Our vision is of a more giving Australia, and our mission is to lead an innovative, growing,influential and high performing philanthropic sector throughout the country. Philanthropy Australia:

  • Promotes the contribution of philanthropy by growing the understanding of the community, business and government.
  • Inspires and supports new philanthropists.
  • Increases the effectiveness of philanthropy through the provision of information, resources and networking opportunities.
  • Represents the philanthropic sector.
  • Promotes strong and transparent governance standards in the philanthropic sector.

Philanthropy Australia also provides information to those seeking to understand, access or partner the philanthropic sector. The organisation operates nationally with offices in Melbourne, Sydney,Adelaide and Brisbane.

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Alana Lowes

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