Structured giving in Australia

Structured giving refers to relatively large‑scale giving and philanthropy.

Philanthropy Australia defines philanthropy as the giving of money, time, information, goods and services, influence and voice to improve the wellbeing of humanity and the community.

Philanthropy is uniquely placed to help address today’s challenges by providing critical support to leaders, individuals, organisations and communities. Philanthropy often provides the critical support that makes a real difference. For example:

  • kick-starting new ways of addressing disadvantage
  • taking risks where governments do not
  • providing immediate and responsive support in times of great need
  • lifting diverse voices to shape policy development.

For a more detailed look at the trends in structured giving, see Giving trends and opportunities.

Structured giving
Structured giving refers to relatively large‑scale giving or philanthropy. Growing structured giving helps support and reinforce other pro-social giving behaviours. These include initiatives that benefit the community – including mass-market giving, impact investing and volunteering.

Structured giving is distinct from mass-market and other forms of giving, for example, direct donations to charities, crowd-funding and volunteering.

Structured giving involves using a vehicle designed to enable giving – including:

  • private or public ancillary funds
  • sub-funds and giving circles
  • testamentary or other legacy trusts.
  • Structured giving can also occur without using a dedicated vehicle. For example, through corporate cash donations, or larger scale and planned contributions from individuals and families.

Structured giving plays a critical role by offering a mechanism to accumulate philanthropic funds. It can:

  • encourage higher levels of net giving by individuals over time
  • help build a culture of giving, supporting intergenerational, institutional and community-based giving
  • facilitate a ‘strategic’ approach to giving by enabling staged or larger scale, longer term and/or higher risk grants that can help incubate innovation, support investment in social infrastructure, and consolidate or scale impactful programs and practices.
  • To learn more about different types of structured giving, see Choosing the right philanthropic structure.

Growing structured giving in Australia
To strengthen philanthropy’s critical role in Australian society, Philanthropy Australia has developed A Blueprint to grow structured giving in Australia by 2030.

The Blueprint outlines the roadmap for how Philanthropy Australia and the philanthropic, not-for-profit, business and government sectors can work together to supercharge structured giving in Australia.