By: Jan Owen AM | Foundation for Young Australians
Sometimes art and life meet and mix. I was about to head off and get married to the same man for a second time (another story for another time!) when I said in an interview: “In philanthropy, collaboration is the equivalent of finding true love - rare, never to be taken for granted, and needing constant investment and recommitment.”
So was I just all loved up and mixing my metaphors or is there something in this?
For all that we talk up philanthropy it is still a relatively small part of the overall funding pie. We could argue there is still too much diversity and fragmentation in philanthropy for it to have any real impact on sustained, systemic change. On the other hand, philanthropy is an essential disruptor and early adopter, investing in backing and proving innovation ready for government and others to take to scale. Philanthropic collaborations are a powerful lever for the multiplier effect, to ensure the best return on a philanthropic investment and hasten the spread of both risk and reward.
At FYA, I would describe our key philanthropic partnerships with the Allan English Foundation and the Myer Foundation to name a few, as deep and abiding relationships. They span generations in that we have relationships with parents, their children and sometimes even the grandchildren.
So how is a great philanthropic collaboration like true love?
There are five things that come to mind from my experience on both sides of this metaphor ....
Ok, it's a long bow, and a bit of fun, to compare philanthropy - the love of humanity - with true love. Or is it? Emotionally we want to join with others and intellectually we know we must. There are plenty of examples of philanthropic collaboration and investment which are a true coming together of hearts, minds and funds. Sure you might have to kiss a few frogs or swipe left and right a few times but when you finally find 'the one' hang in there for the journey a lifetime!
Apr. 19, 2016
Sign up to our weekly e-newsletter for sector news, expert opinion and resources.