So what is better philanthropy?

By: Geoff Day   |   Day Family Foundation & Impact100 SA

I am sure everyone of us have made donations to charities during the course of our lives. This I would suggest is likely to be a disengaged form of giving. Basically, we receive a receipt and newsletters follow with more requests for donations. To pick up on Philanthropy Australia's catch cry, we need more of this but we need it to be better.

David Gonski was quoted saying:

I have a strong view that there are two parts to giving, one is the money itself and the second thing is the example. If you are giving anonymously that's really a matter for the giver but it lacks the second part which is to set the example.

Impact100 giving circles match both the better philanthropy proposition and Gonski's wish that we transition from the first part of philanthropy to the second part. 

Impact 100 in a nutshell: Minimum of 100 people grant $100,000. After a theme is announced, NFP's apply, members vote at 2 presentation events to decide the final four. Members vote on the application they believe will have the greatest impact and the likelihood of sustainability. Funds in excess distributed to the other 3 finalists and residue rolled over into next year.

The Impact 100 model encourages membership engagement through its events and consequently the donation of $1,000 is hardly anonymous.

The flow on effect that I have observed in the first 2 years of Impact100 SA has been nothing short of amazing. As a membership based fundraising model we have gone from 0 members from our information event in April 2014 to 230 members today. This has happened because our members have networked this effective and engaging form of philanthropy to their business colleagues and friends. This would not happen if an anonymous $1,000 donation had been made. In just our third year we have raised $640,000 with every dollar going to a charity which typically will be small, driven by people with passion but lacking the professional fundraising team of a big charity.

The benefits for the finalists are significant:

  • Impact 100 has raised the profile of these charities through its membership and the media.
  • Impact100 has become the fundraiser for the successful charity and saved significant event costs of between 20 to 40 pc for the winning charity.
  • Impact100 has become a facilitator to the other equally important arms of philanthropy which are pro bono professional advice and volunteering.

One finalists was mentored by a PWC employee who has since gone on to develop an advisory committee for that charity and chairs it today pro bono. Just think of the multiplier impact that will have. 

Another finalist was approached after their presentation by a person representing their family foundation .The charity planned to put down its foundations in SA at a cost of $70,000 and needed to win the $100,000.Having received the Impact 100 grant of $20,000 the family foundation after doing their due diligence made a $50,000 grant, such was their belief in the work this charity was doing in helping families who had one of its members in jail.

In summary Impact100SA by the end of year 3 will have made grants totalling $630,000 and was the conduit for an additional $130,000 in financial benefits all accrued in the first year. We have seen many volunteers come forward and there is strong evidence that pro bono services from the first year are being delivered in a much more structured and valuable manner.

Impact100 has been the catalyst for charities to be more strategic in their planning as their applications will need to have high impact not just go towards day to day expenses.


Excerpt from Geoff Day's speech at an information event for Impact100 North Sydney.

Sep. 27, 2016

 Tags: collective giving

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