As diverse as their founders, private ancillary funds can be tough to crack. But if you are willing to play the long game it can be worth the wait, says Fiona Higgins.



Many development and fundraising personnel in the Australian charitable sector are interested in the answer to this question: How can I get in front of PAFs? It’s a reasonable question to ask, given that 1,700+ private ancillary funds (PAFs) now account for more than $500 million of social investment flowing to charities annually. Never mind the plethora of industry activities and events (from webinars and workshops to research and consultancy advice) implying that the answer to that question is out there, somewhere.

As a founding director of Australian Philanthropic Services (APS), the only not-for-profit organisation which specialises in the establishment, administration and management of PAFs in Australia, I love PAFs (and I don’t enjoy delivering unpalatable news about them). But the fact is, whenever an NFP colleague asks me, “How do I  get in front of PAFs?”, my answer is simple. You can’t. Or, at best, you can’t force it. For the following three reasons:

PAFs are designed for privacy. While many PAFs…
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