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In a series of articles for F&P, Lawrence Jackson explores the potential for far greater investment in planned giving in Australia.

These are exciting times for philanthropy in Australia. Recent years have seen ‘mega gifts’ pledged to Australian not-for-profits such as universities, medical research institutions and arts organisations. The predominance of multimillion-dollar capital appeals is almost de rigueur among universities, museums and private schools. Education, medical and arts sector development teams are becoming increasingly professionalised and adept at integrating philanthropy campaign promotion into regular activities.

Earlier this year we saw the conclusion of the first billion-dollar campaign in Australia with the University of Sydney’s decade long INSPIRED campaign reaching the historic milestone. Similarly, the Art Gallery of NSW completed their Sydney Modern campaign and surpassed its $100 million target, which is reputed to be the largest Australian public-private arts sector partnership ever.

This highlights the very enthusiastic application and take-up of North American-inspired philanthropy development and campaigning techniques, with very high-touch relationship fundraising practices increasingly used in Australia over the past decade or so. Yet this does not seem to have translated into the more…
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