Insights from Australian Philanthropy’s response to the COVID-19 Crisis

The COVID-19 crisis has impacted almost every facet of Australian society, with wide ranging ramifications that are still to be fully understood. The crisis resulted in a surge in demand for the services provided by Australian charities, whilst also disrupting their operations. Philanthropy itself was impacted, but it also was called on to step up and support charities and their work in the community during this unprecedented time. As the peak body for philanthropy, Philanthropy Australia realised the significance of the moment. In keeping with our purpose ‘To inspire more and better philanthropy’, we worked closely with our members and stakeholders more broadly to shape the sector’s response.

We conducted two surveys of our members during 2020 as part of measuring the impact of these efforts, in particular any shifts associated with the Australian Philanthropy Pledge.

The purpose of this report is to set out the findings from the surveys, as well as document broader trends within philanthropy during the crisis. As part of this, it seeks to identify whether shifts in practice arising from the crisis may embed themselves in the medium to long-term, to inform Philanthropy Australia’s broader efforts to promote best 3 practice in philanthropy and contribute to debate and discussion about the evolution of the sector’s role and approach.

The project was funded by the Nunn Dimos Foundation in order to examine how COVID-19 influenced philanthropic behaviour in Australia, with the hope that this will influence philanthropic practice in the longer-term.
Philanthropy Australia thanks the Nunn Dimos Foundation for funding this project, and for its ongoing support and commitment to supporting better philanthropy.