People raising hands up

This research project by the Asia Pacific Social Impact Centre at MBS, the University of Melbourne, found that in general, there is optimism about the future of philanthropy in Australia and a genuine desire to continue to develop best practice approaches to social impact by both grant makers and grant seekers. 

However, findings revealed a disconnect between Australian grant seeker and grant maker perceptions around these issues, with philanthropists having a far more favourable view of the state of practices and relationships in the sector than their not-forprofit (NFP) counterparts. Interview respondents from throughout the sector identified multiple causes for the mismatch between grant maker and grant seeker and experiences and impressions, and broadly felt that the responsibility and power to continue to enhance philanthropic impact lay with the continued development of more strategic relationships between the NFPs and philanthropy.

An important catalyst is a greater focus on the strategic impact of philanthropic initiatives and a higher priority by philanthropic decision makers, namely the philanthropists themselves, and the Boards and Trustees responsible for governance of philanthropic entities, to clarify their strategic intent and measure their performance against this strategy.

The insights from this report establish a benchmark for the current state of play in Australia. It presents challenges, but also enormous opportunity for changes that will build towards better practice models and increased impact of Australian philanthropy. The NFP sector is seeking stronger, more strategic relationships with grant makers in order to make that happen.

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