Strategic Plan 2017-2020

As the peak body we serve a community of funders, social investors and social change agents working to achieve positive social, cultural, environmental and community change by leveraging their financial assets and influence.

Informed, independent and with reach and credibility, Philanthropy Australia gives our members a collective voice and ability to influence and shape the future of the sector and advance philanthropy. 

When developing our 2017-2020 strategic map, we had to balance our rich heritage with the ‘now’ and the future. We had to recognise the incredible expertise and resources of our traditional members and to their commitment to philanthropy. But we also needed to acknowledge that philanthropy was changing.

We needed to respond to the emergence of new types of philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, new ways of giving, new ways of investing corpus, changing and blurring relationships between "givers" and "receivers" and the growing realisation that the social sector were very much part of, in fact key players, in the philanthropic community - they have as much of an interest in our success as do the funders. We also understood that Corporates and intermediaries are critical to the success of our community.

Finally, key to the success of Philanthropy Australia’s future would be to change the way our supporters and members engage with us - we needed to democratise the existing membership model.

We held a number of consultations during 2015 and 2016 to determine how we can best partner with the philanthropic community to help create a better world together. Throughout this time, we continued to ask ourselves some key questions: Who do we serve? What is our purpose? What are the few things we are going to focus on and do really well? How do we harness the resources necessary to do those things? 

The resulting answers to these key questions form the basis of our strategic direction.

Who do we serve?

As we are a membership organisation, our role is to service our members, but we’re also a peak body, and as such, we also have the role of advancing. These two roles are complementary because by promoting and growing philanthropy to create a better world, together with our members, we are actually fulfilling both of our roles.

What is our purpose? 

Our purpose is to serve our members to achieve more and better philanthropy.

What are the few things we are going to do really well in order to advance our purpose?

  1. Leadership and advocacy. We will be an informed and prominent champion and advocate for the sector in order to shape and influence the ecosystem within which philanthropy can flourish and drive effective change.
  2. Connecting and convening. We will enable and support effective partnerships and networks both within philanthropy and across sectors bringing all the agents of social change together for collaboration and partnership.
  3. Data and insight. We will facilitate and promote openness and transparency, collecting and sharing grant data and research that informs the work of Funders and social investors and drives impact and helps to demonstrate the case for philanthropy, economically and socially. 
  4. Professional learning and services. We will build the capability of the sector through training and education.
  5. Better Giving Hub. We will build a digital community of interest using open platforms to share resources, tools and information and to provide a place for you to share knowledge, ideas and experiences.

How do we harness the resources to make all this possible?

Our plan includes a new business model that is underpinned by a core cost structure, mostly supported by membership income and high quality fee for service activities. But, very importantly, we will seek grant based support from our members who wish to support our activities in the advancement of philanthropy.

And finally our new model will move away from determining grant-maker membership categories and fees based on annual distributions. This will mean that our members will be able to select the membership package that best suits your needs, where price is related to the level of benefits offered and received. The membership re-categorisation will not take effect until 2018. We will communicate the new packages and options to all of you well before the changes take place and we will be available to talk you through the package that will best suit you.

A key to all of this will be a change from an incorporated association to a company limited by guarantee. Subject to member support we plan to make this change by an EGM in August 2017.

Membership Model Consultations 

Member feedback told us that the ‘one size fits all’ approach to our membership model is too limiting and that Members would like choice and flexibility in interactions with Philanthropy Australia. 

So, we are ran multiple consultation sessions in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney to test our thinking with members and have developed an alternate model which allows much greater flexibility, both in terms of services provided as well as the membership fee categories.

The new model allows us to create more points of entry to access our services and to give you choices and options about how you interact with us.  

Member Consultation Pack (June 2017)


Watch the launch of our 2017-2020 Strategic Plan

Our 2017-2020 Strategic Plan was launched by CEO, Sarah Davies, at our 2016 National Conference in Sydney. 


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