Catch up on the nonprofit sector’s fundraising news for April! Find out about all of the activity, moves and updates within nonprofit organisations and philanthropy. Lise Taylor reports.

Catch up on our April fundraising update! Find out all the activity, moves and news within fundraising and philanthropy. You are welcome to email Lise your news at [email protected].


FINZ Annual Conference: go to the edge of the emerging future of fundraising…

If you’re based in New Zealand or just want an excuse to go there, don’t miss the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand Annual Conference. It is the premier learning event for fundraisers and charity and community sector leaders and those doing great things for good causes in New Zealand. It’s being held at the Rydges Lakeland Resort in Queenstown, with masterclasses on Wednesday 3 May and the two-day conference on Thursday and Friday 4 and 5 May with topics and sessions for every level of fundraiser and fundraising director.

Keynote speakers include experts from the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand, including Michael Whitney (USA), Stephen George (UK) and Sommer Davies (Australia).

See the full conference program here and register for the conference here.


Don’t miss the upcoming ASVB Social Impact Measurement Training Series

Within the current Australian context, anyone in the business of helping people – whether government, corporate, philanthropic or nonprofit, needs to be able to measure and demonstrate the impact of their socially-directed programs.

The launch of the Australian Social Value Bank (ASVB) in mid 2017 is set to simplify this process, helping organisations assess their social impact in a resource-appropriate and proportionate way. For the first time, organisations will be able to compare the value of different interventions, so that they can decide where to focus their efforts.

Developed for the Australian market by Alliance Social Enterprises and Simetrica, the ASVB is the largest collection of social impact values in Australia, and is the first of its kind to measure both primary and secondary benefits, with 60 values included in its first release.

Founding Director of Simetrica, Daniel Fujiwara, will be in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney from 26 April to 4 May to deliver the ASVB Social Impact Measurement (SIM) Training Series, providing an insight into the ASVB ahead of its release. Anyone interested in social impact measurement is invited to attend, and find out how they can use the tool to better measure and value their organisation’s social impact.

For more information and bookings, visit


Australia’s leading entrepreneurs give not-for-profits and charities free advice to ‘Change the World’ in Sydney on 9 May

People working for not-for-profits and worthy causes will have the unique opportunity to learn how to marry online marketing and compelling stories together to raise funds, from some of the world’s leading change makers and entrepreneurs at Change the World, a FREE event taking place at The Entourage Development Centre in Sydney on Tuesday 9 May 2017 from 9am to 4.30pm.

Change the World Sydney’s keynote speaker, entrepreneur and social media thought leader, Nick Bowditch, is the only person in the southern hemisphere to have worked for both Facebook and Twitter, and the only person in the world to work in marketing for both brands.

Nick comments: “I was part of the inaugural Change the World in Perth, so when I heard Hancock Creative was bringing the event to Sydney I was so keen to be part of it. I have a passion for authentic storytelling and the atmosphere last year was amazing. Having so many worthy causes and not-for-profits in one room was electric. I do a lot of work with charities and causes that it was a natural fit with me; I’m so excited to be involved again.”

Other speaks include Jack Delosa, the Founder and CEO of Australia’s largest and most disruptive education institution for entrepreneurs, The Entourage, and Rebecca Chua from Thankyou.

Director of Hancock Creative, Alecia Hancock, says Change the World Sydney is the perfect event for people who want to make a real difference in the world or their communities: “We encourage managers, fundraising, and volunteer specialists for not-for-profits and charities to attend, as well as entrepreneurs and forward-thinking businesses and corporates who want to learn new ways they can make a difference.”


Reward those working to reduce drug and alcohol harm

Preventing harm and making a difference in the lives of those impacted by drugs and alcohol is no easy feat – it’s generally a labour of love, one that often goes unrecognised.

“Harm from alcohol and other drug use is a major challenge in Australia, and far too often the people doing the work are not acknowledged or celebrated,” says Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) CEO, John Rogerson.

That’s why the ADF is encouraging individuals, groups and communities to nominate for the 2017 Alcohol and other Drug Excellence and Innovation Awards.

The award categories include:

  • The Prime Minister’s Award
  • Law Enforcement and Supply Reduction
  • Prevention and Education
  • Treatment and Support
  • Reduction of Harm
  • Research
  • Media Reporting
  • First Australians Award
  • National Honour Roll

“The Prime Minister’s award for instance recognises an individual who has made a significant contribution to reducing the negative effects of drug and alcohol use. But there are nine awards all up, and we see them all as equally important,” said Rogerson.

Nominations can be submitted via email to [email protected] and close at midnight, 22 May 2017.

The Alcohol and other Drug Excellence and Innovation Awards are supported by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation and the Australian Government

The awards ceremony will be held in Canberra, 16 June, 2017. Find out more information at


Refugee microfinancing charity Thrive launches in NSW

Refugees who aspire to establish their own businesses in Australia now have the opportunity to do so with the support of not-for-profit organisation Thrive, which launched operations in New South Wales on 3 April.

Thrive, which aims to expand to Victoria later this year, will offer microfinance loans and business support services to refugees, ultimately giving them business and banking credentials and records which they can then use to apply for commercial loans.

Thrive Chairman and co-founder John Curtis AM said Thrive would fill a gap in the market for providing both financial and business mentoring support to refugees.

“The case for establishing Thrive was very compelling,” Curtis said. “We know that refugees have made and continue to make a vital economic contribution to Australia, but we recognised that this contribution could be even greater if refugees were provided with the right business support services as well as access to finance. Refugees who are financially independent also make vital social connections and integrate into their local community more quickly.”

Thrive CEO Mahir Momand, a microfinance expert and Afghan refugee, said refugees who come to Australia are well educated – at least 75% have graduated from secondary school and 35% have a graduate degree – and have a diverse range of skills.

“This is evident from the quality of potential loan applicants we are seeing,” Momand said. “Many of them have service-based business backgrounds from hairdressing and beauty, to building consultancies, waterproofing, signage, and grocers. The diversity and quality of experience is very encouraging.”

Thrive has partnered with Westpac which has provided $2 million to be used for microfinance loans and a COO to help establish Thrive as a stand-alone entity by developing all elements of its operations from credit policies to loan documents.


Mental health employment breakthrough

Amidst a trend of declining employment of people with disabilities in Australia, one of the country’s foremost not-for-profit service providers has set a new standard by hiring 350 people with a ‘lived experience’ of a mental health issue.

The target has been reached by Flourish Australia after three years of campaigning and targeted recruiting, aimed at people who identify as living with a mental health issue. The outcome is believed to be a first, in that no other organisation in Australia employs so many people with mental health issues.  

The 350 workers – half of Flourish Australia’s 700-strong workforce – are spread across many positions, from full-time executive management roles through to part-time support roles.

A key to the outcome is the take-up rate of ‘peer-work’ positions at Flourish Australia, whereby people with a lived experience of a mental health issue are recruited and trained to support others on their recovery journeys. Flourish Australia’s ‘Why Not a Peer Worker?’ employment program has seen many people from all walks of life take up front-line mental health support roles.          

Flourish Australia said the employment result demonstrates that people with a mental health issue have the skills, knowledge and experience to contribute to any workplace, despite so often being neglected in the labour market.  

 “We’ve actively sought people with a lived experience to take up roles with us and the response has been incredible,” Flourish Australia CEO Pamela Rutledge said. “Given that we’re a not-for-profit supporting people with mental health issues, it’s appropriate that people with a lived experience should make up at least half of our workforce.

“We’re also showing that people with a mental health issue can fill positions across the spectrum of roles in any organisation and perform with distinction. We’ve had people with impeccable senior corporate experience and qualifications come forward, through to people looking for a career change and unemployed people looking for a job start.

Flourish Australia Director and Psychiatrist Dr Josey Anderson said stable employment was extremely important to recovery when mental health issues are in play.  

“One in four people in any 12 month period will experience a mental health issue,” Anderson said. “Around 50% of the population will be managing a mental health issue at some stage in their lives. Stable and meaningful employment is vitally important for anyone on a recovery journey.  

“Unemployment can be disastrous and part of a downward mental health spiral, resulting in incalculable economic and social costs. A stable job gives all of us a sense of meaning, stability, participation and independence.

“It’s hard though when stigma and ignorance see people with a lived experience discriminated against and left out of jobs that they’re perfectly capable of filling. The Flourish Australia achievement sets a new standard for employing people with mental health issues.”

Flourish Australia cited a recent Productivity Commission report showing that employment of people with disabilities in Australia is in decline. See


‘Give Backathon’ offers ‘techpertise’ to Indigenous charities

A two-day Give Backathon on 20-21 May 2017 will aim to provide tech solutions for four Indigenous charities at Brisbane City Council’s new innovation hub in Brisbane’s CBD.

Give Backathon is Australia’s national charity Hackathon, which is the idea of Barayamal, an Indigenous nonprofit that runs an accelerator program for Indigenous startups.

The event is a version of a ‘hackathon’, where participants typically work together to create software products, or improve existing products, in a limited period (maximum of a few days).

Barayamal CEO, Dean Foley, said that the Give Backathon, as the name suggests, is a chance to give back to those who serve the community –  in this case, Indigenous charities working tirelessly to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Indigenous charities have great potential to help close the gap; yet, they very often lack funding and technical skills. The Give Backathon will bring together approximately 70 IT professionals and enthusiasts who will use their valuable skills to ways in which the charities can make better use of technology,” Foley said.

Foley said that while the Give Backathon will run for only two creativity-packed days, its impact will be long-lasting.

“The tailor-made outcomes could, for example, enable the organisations to better connect with Indigenous communities or expand their range of platforms to offer programs,” he said.

Sponsors of the event, KPMG, Microsoft and GitHub, will contribute towards prizes for participants to thank them for their time and efforts.

People or organisations who are interested in supporting the free event can find more information on the Barayamal website.


Opportunity Australia receives annual grant from TechnologyOne

Australia’s largest enterprise software provider TechnologyOne (ASX:TNE) has announced an annual grant to Opportunity International Australia (Opportunity Australia), through the TechnologyOne Foundation, which looks to microfinance 500,000 children out of poverty over the next 15 years through an innovative entrepreneurial approach.

The TechnologyOne Foundation is looking to break the poverty cycle for generations by supporting an innovative microfinancing approach to charitable giving through Opportunity Australia.

Opportunity Australia, a pioneer of socially-focused microfinance, was established by Australian entrepreneur David Bussau more than 40 years ago. David was living in Indonesia and he recognised one of the main causes of poverty was lack of access to credit. He observed how farmers would borrow money from loan sharks or land owners with no hope of paying it back, getting into a spiral of debt not only for themselves but their whole family. In many cases their children would need to work to support the loan, forcing them to leave school at a young age and not complete their education.

The TechnologyOne partnership with Opportunity Australia will provide small loans to enable families to grow businesses, earn regular incomes and create safety nets for the future. Since 98% of these small loans are repaid and then re-lent to other families, the impact creates a ripple effect within communities.

“We pride ourselves on holding a strong set of values that underpin the way in which we conduct ourselves. The foundation is a natural extension of these values, empowering our people to a make a difference in their communities,” said TechnologyOne’s Executive Chairman, Adrian Di Marco.

“As a company that retains a start-up mindset and values the entrepreneurial spirit, we feel particularly well aligned to what Opportunity International Australia is trying to achieve,” Di Marco said.

The focus for the TechnologyOne Foundation is to work with grassroots charities that make a tangible difference to disadvantaged communities, focused on underprivileged youth. The downstream benefits of this microfinancing endeavour will see the translation of multiple small investments, into a regular income for thousands of families, with a newfound ability to obtain nutritious food, safe shelter, medicine and a better education for children.

Opportunity CEO, Robert Dunn, warmly welcomed TechnologyOne’s decision. “Families from the poorest parts of the world will use the small loans provided by TechnologyOne’s generous gifts to undertake innovative entrepreneurial endeavours. All start-ups face similar issues such as limited access to capital. Small loans in combination with creativity, perseverance, determination and skills can enable families living in poverty to kick start and grow businesses,” Dunn said.


PFRA 2016 AGM update

In his board report at the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) AGM held on Wednesday 5 April, Chair John Burns was positive about its future. Since the PFRA’s formal board election two years ago, he announced the organisation was in a financially healthy position with a balanced budget and funds in reserve. Current membership is at 90, comprising 52 charities and 38 suppliers and representing a 50% increase over the last year. In addition, during 2016 300,000 people signed up to a monthly gift via member charities, which he said was roughly commensurate with 2015.

The control check imperative “Face-to-face fundraising is an incredibly effective means of recruitment of regular givers but nonprofits are still operating in a very complex environment, which is why control checks are an essential part of PFRA’s work,” said Burns.

He informed the audience that regular quality assurance checks and reporting back are conducted and, during 2016, 300 separate issues were resolved on behalf of members, such as poaching staff. There were 1.4 breaches at each check when these were first initiated and these have reduced to 0.8, which he says is an excellent result. In addition, most breaches were minor (think hidden ID badges) with only one or two recalcitrants. Road trips accounted for most serious issues.

“These positive results also mean it can be demonstrably indicated to stakeholders that the PFRA’s ongoing measurement and conduct of street checks will assist in continuing to improve results and the level of positive engagement with charities,” he explained, adding that there are plans afoot to roll out training initiatives.

Trust in the PFRA It was also noted that the PFRA now has a level of trust with eight local authorities across Sydney and Melbourne along with a database of 150 authorities.

However, not having permits is the most common breach of the standard. “Although this is only an issue for a small number of members it does aggravate local government officers and endangers access for all,” said Burns.

He added, “With a strong awareness that all activity must be legal, the PFRA is also working on a campaign to achieve harmonisation of fundraising regulation across the country but will only go ahead if there are clear benefits for donors and members. Government regulation will continue as well and the PFRA is working to ensure face-to-face fundraising is not hampered by these changes.”

Fundraising engagement Employment can be a problem. Burns pointed out that all activity must be legal but consensus appears to be elusive because of the sector’s diversity. It was emphasised that the PFRA has no say in direct employment or sub-contracting arrangements – these are the charities’ responsibility.

Board and directors With CEO Paul Tavatgis now having resigned his position an international search is now on for his replacement. New directors were also confirmed as follows:

Rachel Brine (The Fundraising People)
John Burns (Bush Heritage Australia) – Chair
Tom Duggan (Plan International Australia)
Ben Holgate (Plan International Australia)
Warren Nicholls (Aida for Good)
Kerry Nairn (Australian Red Cross)
Alisa O’Malley (Australia for UNHCR)
Nicola Stewart (The Fred Hollows Foundation)
Carl Young (Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation)

Outgoing CEO Paul Tavatgis’ key takeaways F&P spoke with Tavatgis about his key takeaways. These included the importance of:

  • the strength of the membership organisation and the charities coming together to collaborate on high standards
  • increasing participation so that all charities and agencies involved in face-to-face are participants because that makes the organisation stronger
  • staying engaged with the board, especially in areas such as government regulation
  • charities taking responsibility for their supply chains and decisions, especially in relation to ensuring they are behaving lawfully
  • charities taking responsibility for the standards.

“We are judged on the behaviour of the fundraisers on the street. These people are doing a difficult job and need the support of everybody involved in face-to-face to make sure they achieve those high standards,” he said.

The ACNC ACNC Assistant Commissioner David Locke also spoke at the AGM. He told F&P, “The PFRA is a self-regulatory body that does a terrific job in making sure that what is a very public facing part of fundraising is effectively managed. And in amongst the controversy that arises around the National Union of Workers I think it is managing a very difficult process very well.”

In his presentation, he provided an overview of the work the ACNC is doing with the states and territories to reduce red tape. Locke explained the ACNC knows this is a big concern with regard to fundraising and referred to that morning’s launch of the #FixFundraising campaign and its associated open letter from 156 charities to the governments of Australia to look at the ‘mess’ of fundraising legislation across the country.

Locke also noted the recently published ACNC compliance report setting out the investigations and compliance work it has undertaken over the last two years and the ACNC’s approach to the sector – how it regulates and works with bodies such as PFRA and FIA.

He said, “Our approach is very much about setting out where the red and yellow flags are on the beach and we know that if we do that, explain what the rules are and explain what the parameters are, the vast majority of charities will swim between those flags. Then we can concentrate our efforts on the handful of idiots who jump off the rocks at the end of the beach!”


Barnardos mourns warrior for children, Louise Voigt

Barnardos Australia has paid tribute to the life and work of its long-time Chief Executive, Louise Voigt, who passed away peacefully at her Sydney home on Friday 7th April 2017.

Voigt led Barnardos from 1983 to her retirement in 2015. She was a fearless advocate for children. She inspired the development of evidence-based practice and many of the approaches she pioneered are now standard across the child welfare sector.

During her period of leadership at Barnardos she championed Children’s Family Centres to assist families at risk to stay together in times of crisis and prevent the premature removal of children. She was responsible for the care of thousands of children who could no longer safely stay with their families. She pioneered open adoption in Australia and oversaw the adoption of 246 young people.

Louise had a strong sense of social justice for the most vulnerable in our community, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This is the foundation of Barnardos’ commitment to delivering quality services to children, young people and their families.

She received the NSW Association of Social Workers Social Justice Award and Lifetime Achievement awards from the Association of Child Welfare Agencies and the University of Sydney.

A public memorial will take place in coming months. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to pay their respects can donate to continue Louise’s legacy through the work of Barnardos Australia. Donate at or 1800 663 441.


Fundraisers pledge to protect vulnerable donors

When the FIA released the draft of a new National Code for the fundraising sector recently, it was agreed one area in need of reform was how fundraisers treat people in vulnerable circumstances.

“The new Code makes a simple pledge: FIA members will not accept a donation where they have a reasonable belief that the donor is in vulnerable circumstances or lacks capacity to make a decision to donate,” says CEO Rob Edwards.

“Members must now, when they come across such a person, take greater care to engage with such people respectfully and responsibly.

“As our population ages and more people with chronic disease or other disabilities are enabled by modern medicine to live at home for longer, a greater onus of responsibility falls to fundraisers to demonstrate appropriate care and sensitivity.

“To be clear, we are not saying that all people in vulnerable circumstances are off limits for all time. It may be that person, due to a temporary illness, could be vulnerable for a short period.

“We acknowledge it isn’t always easy to identify a person in vulnerable circumstances. If an appeal is being made via telephone, the fundraiser’s ability to assess a person’s vulnerability could be limited. This is why FIA will be offering guidance and training to assist members in making good judgements. This guidance explains some of the common signs of vulnerability such as a lack of comprehension about what is being said, asking for statements to be repeated, or making statements that indicate others look after their financial affairs.

“In short, fundraisers should be aware of the signs of vulnerability and not seek donations from people who appear not to have the capacity to make informed decisions about donating.”

FIA will hold a free webinar on 20 April for those seeking more information or wanting to provide feedback about the revised Code of Practice. Register here.

How should fundraisers interact with people in vulnerable circumstances?

  • Speak clearly, slowly and use terms that the person can understand
  • Make it clear who the fundraiser is and for which cause they are working
  • Repeat important pieces of information – particularly the consequences of a decision to donate
  • As the interaction progresses, check that the person understands and is happy to continue
  • Do not put pressure on the person to make a donation – politely accept any refusals to donate without reservation
  • Ask the person if they need to consult someone else about the decision
  • If seeking substantial gifts or bequests, provide an opportunity for the donor to seek advice
  • Provide the person with relevant information and options for donating later so they can consider their decision in their own time.


Hundreds of charities revoked by national regulator

Five hundred and ninety charities have had their registration with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) revoked, after failing to submit their annual reports two years running.

In February 2017, ACNC Commissioner Susan Pascoe AM warned more than 1,300 registered charities that failing to submit their outstanding Annual Information Statements would result in the loss of charity status.

“As the national charity regulator, it is important that we provide the Australian community with accurate and up-to-date information on the Charity Register,” Pascoe said. “This information is largely collected from the Annual Information Statements required from charities to meet their basic requirements to retain charitable status. The organisations that have lost their charity status were warned multiple times to submit their outstanding reports.

“Pleasingly, more than 700 charities – over 55% – that were initially at risk of revocation have recognised the importance of being accountable and transparent in their operations, and have submitted their outstanding statements. This group has retained their registration with the ACNC and will continue to access Commonwealth charity tax concessions.

“This is a positive outcome for these charities. Revocation for failing to report is always a last resort for the ACNC, and we prefer to work with charities to get them back on track.”

The remaining 590 charities that failed to submit their outstanding statements in the given timeframe have now been revoked. Charities that have been revoked will have this published on their Charity Register listing, and will no longer be able to display the ACNC’s Registered Charity Tick.

Donors, grant-makers and volunteers can search the Charity Register at

The list of revoked charities can be found at


m pavilionMPavilion 2016 has been gifted to the people of Melbourne

Naomi Milgrom AO, Founder of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, recently announced that MPavilion 2016, designed by award-winning Indian architect Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai, has been gifted to the people of Melbourne and will be relocated from its temporary site at the Queen Victoria Gardens to its new home at the Melbourne Zoo in Parkville. The relocation is underway with assistance from the City of Melbourne, Naomi Milgrom Foundation and Kane Constructions.

“Bijoy Jain’s MPavilion is part of an international movement in handmade architecture encapsulating Jain’s ongoing interest in traditional craftsmanship and human connectedness. The Melbourne Zoo occupies a special place in the heart of Melburnians and I’m thrilled that this beautiful pavilion will continue to inspire people of all ages,” Milgrom said.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the third MPavilion would provide a lasting cultural legacy for Melbourne.

Work on the installation of MPavilion 2016 at the Melbourne Zoo site has begun. Melbourne Zoo Director Kevin Tanner said the MPavilion would be incorporated into new landscaping in existing open space just off the Main Drive between the heritage carousel and the Japanese Garden.

MPavilion 2016’s program of talks, workshops and performances created in collaboration with more than 350 arts organisations, designers and architects from Melbourne and around the globe concluded in the Queen Victoria Gardens on 18 February 2017.  Over four months, 94,000 people attended 487 free events in the temporary pavilion, which has become Australia’s leading architecture commission and design event initiated by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation with support from the City of Melbourne, the Victorian State Government through Creative Victoria and ANZ.

As part of the foundation’s ‘Architecture in the City’ strategy, each previous MPavilion has been gifted to the city. MPavilion 2014, designed by Australian architect Sean Godsell, permanently resides in the gardens of the Hellenic Museum. MPavilion 2015, designed by British architect Amanda Levete of AL_A, is located at a park on Collins Street, Docklands. The commission for MPavilion 2017 has been awarded to Netherlands-based OMA and will be designed by Rem Koolhaas & David Gianotten. 


Judith Neilson joins Amnesty International’s Global Council

Amnesty International has announced that philanthropist and arts patron Judith Neilson AM will join the organisation’s prestigious Global Council.

Judith Neilson, founder of the White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney, Australia, will be the first Australian to join the Council and joins the likes of Sir Richard Branson, world renowned Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, pioneering Japanese artist Yoko Ono, financier and philanthropist Krishna Rao, Founder and CEO of AirAsia Tony Fernandes, social activist Hadeel Ibrahim and entrepreneur Bassim Haidar.

“As a visible driving force behind restoring the safety, dignity and hope of some of the world’s most vulnerable people, Judith Neilson’s voice will have tremendous strength as she brings it alongside Amnesty International,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

Growing up in Zimbabwe and South Africa left Neilson with a deep awareness of poverty and the plight of refugees. Those concerns led to her work with Anti-Slavery Australia, of which she is Patron, and her endowment of a Chair in Architecture at the University of New South Wales to develop innovative housing for people displaced by war and natural disasters.

Neilson’s charitable work and her contributions to the arts were recognised in 2016 with her appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia.

Amnesty International’s Global Council was established in 2013 to support Amnesty’s work to advance justice and human rights globally.  Members serve as champions for Amnesty International within their own networks and help the organisation’s Secretary General to raise financial resources and identify and engage new human rights supporters. Council members do this in a variety of ways that are suited to their backgrounds, areas of expertise and interests.


The Funding Network and Manjeri recognised in prestigious philanthropy awards

The Funding Network (TFN) was honoured at the Philanthropy Australia Awards, taking out ‘Best Small Grant Award’ in recognition of its collaboration with nonprofit organisation Manjeri, to support its work in Uganda.

The partnership began in 2014 when TFN, whose mission is to build the capacity of grassroots nonprofits by helping to democratise giving and facilitating greater community engagement, awarded Manjeri an initial grant of $17,900 to fund its work in Uganda, leveraging the power of social enterprise to build sustainable schools.

Nicholas Harrington, Founding Director of Manjeri pitched at a TFN live crowdfunding event for support to start a taxi bus social enterprise. His compelling presentation raised the funds in just 10 minutes, thanks to the collective contributions of 40 individual donors and matched funding from the AMP Foundation.

Harrington says, “TFN’s holistic approach to supporting grassroots nonprofits, like us, is so powerful. Not only is the funding important, but the ripple effect from the opportunity to pitch at TFN has been significantly greater. We’ve been able to share our story, reach new audiences and develop long-term relationships with people who are passionate about supporting our work. This has fast-tracked our ability to scale and grow.”

Lisa Cotton, Co-Founder and CEO of The Funding Network says, “It’s incredibly humbling to receive this award. It not only highlights the power of collective impact and its capacity to unite and empower all sectors to play a role in positive change, but it’s also worthy recognition of the innovative approach Manjeri is taking to create lasting change in Uganda.”

The winners of the 2017 Philanthropy Australia Awards were announced recently in Melbourne to recognise and celebrate recent extraordinary achievements in Australian philanthropy. Six awards were announced for categories including Leading Philanthropist, Best Large Grant, Best Small Grant, Environmental Philanthropy Award, Gender-Wise Philanthropy Award and Indigenous Philanthropy Award.


Text message donations breaking ground for charities across Australia

Telco Together Foundation recently announced it will extend its pilot for giving donations via text message – Text Giving – through to 1 October 2017. To date, 15 of Australia’s charities including the Australian Red Cross, Cancer Council and Oxfam have successfully made use of the trial over the past 12 months and the Foundation is now looking to appoint another five charities.

With mobile consumption and usage never higher, the simplicity of sending a text to donate means donors can give to their favourite charity in less than 10 seconds, with a $5 tax deductible donation charged to their mobile phone bill or showing up in their usage history (provided that PSMS is available on their service).

Telco Together is a registered charity, launched in 2012 to create a united telecommunications industry effort to support Australian charities and people in need.

Since launch of the pilot, participating charities have expressed enthusiasm about the potential for text giving in Australia, both as a new fundraising channel and as a donor acquisition tool in converting donors to regular giving.

Commenting on the reasons for extending the pilot and decision to invite new charities to the program, Renee Bowker, CEO of Telco Together Foundation said: “We’re keen to collate a significant amount of case studies from pilot campaigns to ensure we capture a clear picture of what works well from a fundraising perspective in Australia. Long term, we are committed to arming charities with information and resources to help maximise the use of text giving and increase the viability for successful and worthwhile fundraising outcomes.”

Charities interested in submitting an EOI should visit with submissions due before midnight Friday 5 May. For more information visit


Calling all school, sport and community fundraisers…

Raise a Patch by Yates is a fun, healthy alternative to the usual junk food fundraiser options. A carry box of 25 vegie seed packets costs $40 to purchase and each packet sells for $4. That means a profit of $60 per carry box. A carry box of 50 seed packets costs $75 to purchase, making you a $125 profit when all the packets are sold. Find out more at


New board appointments for Multicap

David Eades has been appointed as chair of one of Queensland’s largest disability service providers, Multicap, following the retirement of Professor John McAuliffe AM who held the role for 10 years. Eades has been a Multicap Director for the past 12 years and is well known in property, housing, development and infrastructure circles.

Michael Roche, the former executive leader of the Queensland Resources Council, has been appointed as a director of the not-for-profit organisation following the retirement of long-standing non-executive director Harry Carrick.

Global Market Leader for Michael Hill Anna-Marie Shaw has also recently been appointed to the Board of Directors, while John Gallimore, consultant to legal firm Allens Linklaters and Chris Perkins, former Chief Financial Officer of Mater Misericordiae Limited continue as Directors.

Eades said the appointments follow a restructure of the Board ahead of the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), which was driving profound change throughout the disability sector.

“Getting ahead of the game and having skills around the board table that are well matched to a succinct and well-defined corporate plan will lay the foundations for success with the very significant changes that NDIS will bring to the sector,” he said.

“Multicap’s old corporate and board structure served us well and we were fortunate to have that stable leadership for some time however the new structure ensures we are well positioned for the biggest reform in the sector ever. Some are predicting impacts as great as the introduction of Medicare to the general Australian population late last century. Clearly a business-as-usual model won’t cut it in that environment.”

Multicap Chief Executive Officer Joanne Jessop welcomed the new Board appointments. “We look forward to building strong working relationships with our new board to strengthen Multicap’s position as a leader in the Queensland disability sector and to drive the organisation’s transition to a different funding model over the next five years,” she said.


SVA dials up support for disadvantaged WA youth

A new partnership in Western Australia between Social Ventures Australia (SVA) and Dismantle will see $150,000 invested into engaging and mentoring at-risk youth back into employment and education pathways through BikeRescue – an innovative bike mechanic and therapeutic support program.

Dismantle will be the second Western Australian venture in Social Ventures Australia’s Venture Philanthropy portfolio. SVA’s Venture Philanthropy services enable a community of engaged philanthropists to support high impact social ventures that improve the lives of people in need in Australia.

SVA’s partnership with Dismantle will focus on scaling the BikeRescue program into regional communities where issues such as youth suicide, anti-social behaviour and disengagement from education and employment are more prevalent than in metro areas.

SVA will be supporting Dismantle over a three-year partnership, providing funding, capacity building support and connections to pro bono partners to enable Dismantle to develop BikeRescue into a social franchise using a ‘train-the-trainer’ delivery model – supporting Dismantle to more effectively scale across regional WA.

SVA has worked with 40 social ventures like Beacon Foundation, Ganbina, STREAT and AIME, and distributed more than $20 million to support their work, build capacity and develop high impact models. The focus areas include access to great education, pathways to fulfilling jobs, social and affordable housing, and working with First Australians. In WA, Marnin Studio was the first venture to join the portfolio.


Charity successfully positioned for growth over the next decade

McGrath Foundation recently announced its CEO Petra Buchanan has stepped down from the breast cancer charity having successfully positioned the organisation for growth over the next decade. Buchanan’s key achievements included double digit revenue growth, increased donor funding, renewal of the Federal Government’s financial commitment, and refreshed branding.

“We celebrated the first 10 years of the McGrath Foundation in 2015, and since then, under my leadership the charity has been set on a solid path for the next decade. Rebranding the McGrath Foundation is creating increased awareness, and revolutionising fundraising using digital technology is creating new revenue streams,” said Buchanan.

John C Conde, AO Chairman said, “Petra has been the driver of our renewal over the last three years and we are very sad to lose her. During her tenure she has increased the financial performance of the organisation and significantly increased the placement of McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities across the country to support families affected by breast cancer.

“The Foundation’s revenue grew by 16% in financial year 2016/2017 placing 16 new McGrath Breast Care Nurses since 2014 compared to the not-for-profit industry growth average of 2%,” added Conde.

Glenn McGrath AM Co-Founder and President, said, “Petra’s marketing and communications expertise has added significantly to the organisation. She has positioned the Foundation at the pinnacle of charities, with the re-branding also bringing a fresh digital approach to how we engage supporters and creates awareness for McGrath Breast Care Nurses.”


Huge grant boosts cystic fibrosis research

Adelaide has surged ahead in the race to cure cystic fibrosis thanks to a massive grant from a private South Australian foundation.

The $670,000 cheque from the Fay Fuller Foundation means Cure4CF can proceed with critically important animal testing ahead of its ultimate goal of human clinical trials.

“For a number of years we have been following the work of the CF Airway Research Group and its pioneering methods and to have such world class scientists developing a gene therapy intervention here in South Australia is a wonderful story and one that we are keen to support,” said David Minns, Fay Fuller Foundation Chairman.

The two year project will establish the world’s only cystic fibrosis rat colony with researchers testing the effectiveness of gene therapy on the lungs of rats with the disease. If the treatment is successful, it will be a global breakthrough in an illness that has baffled medical science for decades.

“This grant is a tremendous vote of confidence in the work that our Adelaide research team is conducting,” said Cure4CF Chairman David Caluccio. “Seventy thousand people are living with cystic fibrosis and the eyes of the medical world are on us.”

The work is underway at the University of Adelaide and is led by pioneering scientist Associate Professor David Parsons. “Medical research at this level can at times be painstakingly slow and of course very expensive,” he said. “But we know that we are on the right track and this project will provide the proof we need to show that carefully developed gene therapy can prevent or halt the progression of cystic fibrosis in the lungs.”


Production fund: a game changer for Black Swan

The Black Swan State Theatre Company launched its new Production Fund at its sold out inaugural Philanthropy Gala Dinner on Thursday 16 March 2017.

“The fund has been established to provide long term security for Black Swan, and will enable the company to continue to develop works of exceptional quality,” the Chair of the Board of Directors, Mark Barnaba AM said. “It is a game changer for Black Swan and would ensure the company is in good stead for the next stage of its journey.”

The success of the fund was assured when Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation offered to match every donation made on the night by generous donors, including Angela Roberts, Tim Roberts Giving, Mimi and Willy Packer and Michelle and Tony Grist.

“We are extremely grateful to the donors of the Production Fund and all our financial stakeholders that enable us to bring Black Swan’s vision to create theatre that matches the boldness and beauty of the state we live in to life,’’ Barnaba said.

Amongst those in attendance on the evening was Black Swan’s Founder Janet Holmes à Court AC who spoke about the Black Swan’s 25 year history, including the many successful artists who had commenced their careers with the company and the staging of ground breaking productions such as Bran Nue Day. She added that this was a remarkable legacy, as was the 20th anniversary of the partnership with Rio Tinto, recognised as one of the state’s most enduring and successful Business Arts Partnerships.


COUCH Wellbeing Centre one step closer thanks to Masonic Charity donation of $500,000

Since the formation of Action Group COUCH in 2006, Charles and Pip Woodward have been leading the campaign for better services for people living with cancer and their families in the Cairns region.

Recently, their vision of a COUCH Wellbeing Centre in Cairns is one step closer to being achieved with the announcement of a $500,000 donation from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland towards this life-changing project.

The COUCH Wellbeing Centre, is a proposed development for the Far North Queensland region which will deliver services that provide a holistic approach to cancer care with the primary goal of improving the quality of life for people living with cancer (and beyond) as well as their carers.

“The COUCH Wellbeing Centre will be modelled on the successful Bloomhill Cancer Care Centre located on the Sunshine Coast which has been operating for 20 years. The COUCH Wellbeing Centre will be a great addition to the cancer facilities available for people affected by cancer in the Cairns region,” said Charles Woodward, Chairman Cairns COUCH Ltd.

Hand Heart Pocket CEO, Gary Mark, said that the decision to support this project was made in consultation with the Freemasons in the District, who helped to identify a deserving cause that Hand Heart Pocket could support and would benefit the people of Far North Queensland long into the future. “This Centre will be the first of its kind in Cairns and will without a doubt be an asset to the region. Hand Heart Pocket is proud to support this regional initiative that will help to empower people living with cancer and their families, improving their quality of life,” Mark said.

The Woodward family, which also donated 2.1 hectares of land for the proposed Wellbeing Centre, is well known for its commitment to the development of the region, dating back over 100 years.


Centacare Catholic Diocese of Ballarat Welcomes new CEO

Centacare Ballarat has announced the appointment of a new CEO. Tony Fitzgerald commenced as CEO with Centacare Catholic Diocese of Ballarat on 30 January 2017.
He joins Centacare after a longstanding career working as the Managing Director of State Trustees Ltd and in various roles at the National Australia Bank.

“I am excited to be given the opportunity to lead an organisation of the quality of Centacare Ballarat and am thoroughly looking forward to working with the Board and the Centacare team” said Fitzgerald. “I’m sure it will be rewarding to take the organisation through its next phase and build on the excellent legacy of outgoing CEO David Beaver.”

FRRR launches Cyclone Debbie recovery fund

On 30 March 2017 The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) announced it had established a Repair-Restore-Renew Fund to support the medium to long-term recovery of rural and regional areas affected by Cyclone Debbie and the resultant flooding.

FRRR has supported communities affected by natural disasters since 2006. Working through a collaborative model, the Foundation raises funds at the time of disasters, which are then distributed through community grants beginning 12-18 months after the event.

CEO Natalie Egleton, says this ensures resources are available to support communities when the needs have become more apparent. “This approach means that communities can take the time they need to conduct adequate research and planning to ensure that social and physical infrastructure is appropriate, sustainable and meets the future needs of the community. It means funds are available when the gaps are identified,” she explained.

“The collaborative aspect of FRRR’s program is also important,” says Egleton. “A key thing we learned in responding to the 2009 Victorian bushfires is that if donors pool resources and work together, we can better manage duplication. We can use each other’s strengths and skills more effectively. It also means stressed communities have an easier time navigating their way towards philanthropic support.”

FRRR’s unique status ensures that funds can also be directed to community groups that often aren’t eligible for philanthropic funding. “In small communities, many of the local community groups don’t have DGR status, so they don’t receive funding from other sources. So, contributing to FRRR’s programs ensures that the funds really get to the groups that need support.”

The Fund is tax deductible and accepts donations from individuals and from trusts, foundations, corporations and individuals. Donations may be made via FRRR’s website:


Australian Unity Trustees appoints head of philanthropy

Australian Unity Trustees has appointed Caroline Whitby to the newly-created position of national manager – philanthropy.
In the role, Whitby will be responsible for all the business’s philanthropic activities including managing relationships with trustees, working with not-for-profit organisations, overseeing grant programs, and handling the legislative and regulatory requirements.
She has over 16 years experience within the financial services industry, including managing philanthropic programs at Perpetual Trustees and Trust Company. Whitby has a degree in sociology and legal studies from La Trobe University, is based in Melbourne and will report to Emma Sakellaris, general manager of Australian Unity Trustees.


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