Young Australian philanthropists are rejecting cheque-writing and are rewriting giving models instead, says Amanda Miller.

Young people today find organisations that align with their values, then roll up their sleeves and offer not just their money, but their networks, time, and professional skills as well.

One example of this trend in practice is ‘10X10’, which aims to democratise philanthropy and engender a culture of giving by providing a forum for participants to give to young and emerging charities. It enables people to come together to have a collective impact and to network and socialise at the same time.

10X10 originated in Sydney last year and held its inaugural Melbourne event earlier this week. The Melbourne organising committee was headed by Finn Kelly and included Hunter Johnson, Fiona Triaca, Zoe Warne, Ashwin Rajan, Anna Spraggett, and Sarah Riegelhuth.

At a 10X10 event, three nonprofit/social enterprise organisations quickly pitch their project to a room of donors and a ‘dragon’. 10 hosts each bring nine other ‘donors’ to the event, who each pre-give $100, raising $10,000 in total.

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Attendees on the night are given ‘tokens’ worth $100, which they allocate to the three presenting organisations according to their preference after the pitches.

At the recent Melbourne 10X10 event, held after work at a bar in the city, a room full of donors enjoyed engaging pitches from innovative start-up organisations 1 Giant Mind, Streets of Freedom and 100 Story Building. After some probing questions from ‘dragons’ Carol Schwartz and Denis Moriarty – both leaders in the nonprofit, business, social enterprise and philanthropic spaces – the audience cast their votes.

The room was clearly impressed with all three pitches, as the $10,000 was split between the three organisations.

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“It was thrilling to see people collectively support these organisations and take the time, rather than just going out for dinner or to the movies, to learn about the important work being done to make a difference to our community,” said organiser Finn Kelly.

As well as asking for money, organisations also listed non-financial items that would help their projects, such as networking contacts, website developers and volunteers. This is also indicative of the growing trend of ‘next-gen’ donors to want to give more than just money.

The next 10X10 Melbourne event will take place on Tuesday 20 May. For more information see 10X10Melbourne on Twitter and Facebook.

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