Australian Philanthropy Awards 2020

At the end of a complex and challenging year, the best of Australian philanthropy was celebrated at the sixth annual Australian Philanthropy Awards.

Nomination Closed

The Australian Philanthropy Awards were held for the first time as a virtual ceremony. They showcased a range of collaborations that led to innovative, strategic and bold outcomes in settings as diverse as outback Australia to inner-city Melbourne.

Philanthropy Australia CEO Sarah Davies hailed philanthropy’s response to the challenging circumstances of 2020, including bushfires, the COVID-19 pandemic and then the social and economic consequences of the health crisis.

Never has there been a more important time for philanthropy to show up, and has it shown up this year! We have been so energized and inspired by how our members have responded – generously, cleverly, nimbly, strategically – to these challenges, and I have to say the best of philanthropy is on display now for us all.

The awards drew a record number of nominations across 9 categories: Leading Philanthropist, Better Philanthropy, Bolder Philanthropy, Best Grant Program, Community Philanthropy, Environmental Philanthropy, Indigenous Philanthropy, Gender-wise Philanthropy and International Philanthropy.

Australia’s highest philanthropic honour, the Leading Philanthropist Award, was awarded to Carol Schwartz AO in recognition of her outstanding contribution to philanthropy and her insights into giving, community, leadership and gender.

Ms Davies said the award recipients showed the ‘…the transformative power that good partnership, powerful community leadership and powerful philanthropy can achieve together.’

Ceremony video

Australian Philanthropy Awards 2020 recipients

Leading Philanthropist

Carol Schwartz AO

Better Philanthropy Award

Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and Housing Choices Australia

Bolder Philanthropy Award

Gandel Philanthropy and the Australian Foundation for Yad Vashem

Best Grant Program Award

Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR)

Community Philanthropy Award

Give Where You Live Foundation, Geelong Community Foundation and Kids Thrive

Environmental Philanthropy Award

The Pace Foundation (and 6 other funders) and Beyond Zero Emissions

Gender-wise Philanthropy Award

Brian and Virginia McNamee Foundation and WIRE

Indigenous Philanthropy Award

The Balnaves Foundation and Guardian Australia

International Philanthropy Award

Accenture Australia and Good Return


The Australian Philanthropy Awards 2020 were generously supported by:

Macquarie Group

Grant Toolbox

Australian Community Philanthropy

Australian Communities Foundation

Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal

Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation

Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network

Australian Women Donors Network

Ninti One

Australian International Development Network

Australian Council for International Development

Become a partner

Press release

Australian Philanthropy Awards 2020 press release


See past editions of the Australian Philanthropy Awards program

If you have any questions or would like more information about the Australian Philanthropy Awards, contact us at [email protected]