When it comes to advocacy there is a disconnect between funders and charities. Krystian Seibert sets the record straight on this vital issue.



Just before I started writing this article, I was walking down the street and bumped into the CEO of a philanthropic organisation.  We stood on the footpath chatting about various issues and trends, and we inevitably got onto the topic of advocacy.

This is not surprising, because within the philanthropic sector there’s now strong interest in funding advocacy – which I define as initiatives seeking to achieve change by influencing public policy, including laws, regulations and government practices.

In the past, many philanthropic organisations were reluctant to fund advocacy by charities – it was seen as legally risky or courting controversy. But things have changed.

Thanks to the High Court’s 2010 decision in the Aid/Watch case and the Charities Act 2013 (Cth), it’s now clear that advocacy undertaken to further a charitable purpose is itself charitable, and that philanthropic organisations can certainly…
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