Collective Giving in Australian Philanthropy

The Australian Government's Department of Social Services has commissioned a research study on collective giving in Australia. The research will inform the work of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership.

The Partnership brings together prominent Australians from business and community sectors to provide advice to Government on practical strategies to foster a culture of philanthropic giving, volunteering and investment in Australia.

The research study is being undertaken by Creative Partnerships Australia, and Philanthropy Australia is pleased to be able to support this important project.

What is Collective Giving?

Collective giving is the coming together of individuals or foundations to jointly fund social change. Since 2010, several highly organised models of collective philanthropy have developed in Australia, making strategic and powerful philanthropy accessible to many. 

In its simplest form, five or more people come together, pool donations and collectively make grant decisions to achieve greater impact than they could alone. Larger groups, like Impact100, have hundreds of members and give large, high impact grants to small local charities. 

These large collective giving groups either have their own charitable status or are sub-funds of established community foundations. Smaller groups can be made up of just a few people who pool their resources, collectively decide what to support and then make individual donations to the selected charity.

Groups generally have an educational element, where members participate in the assessment of applications, make site visits to charities and vote on final grant decisions. There is also a social side to collective giving as like-minded people come together to make a difference in their community. 

Learn more about Collective Giving groups in Australia >

What is the Focus of the Research?

The research will determine the scope of collective giving in Australia, examine the different structures and determine the impact, both of grants given and the impact on the giving behaviour of members.

The research will also capture the experience of host organisations and charities. The research will include surveys of collective giving groups, host organisations, usually in the form of a community foundation, and charities.

For the purposes of the study, collective giving groups must meet the following criteria:

  • Donor initiated
  • Donors pool their resources in some manner
  • Donors decide how and where the funds are distributed
  • Evidence of an educational and or/community building component
  • Have at least 5 members/donors

Have Your Say by Participating in the Research Study

Collective giving groups meeting the above criteria are encouraged to particpate in the study, and should contact the researchers, James Boyd and Dr Lee Partridge, using the details below:

James Boyd

State Manager WA & SA, Creative Partnership Australia and national convenor, Impact100.

Tel: 0417 977 022

Dr Lee Partridge

CEO of University to Community Inc., University of WA

Tel: 0401 135 563

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