Philanthropy in the news

Fri, 24 May 2024 Estimated reading times: 3 minutes

From significant gifts, including an $8m boost for pancreatic cancer research and $3m for public art, to new funding strategies, there have been a number of sector announcements in the news this week. Here, we deliver a snapshot.

Philanthropy raises Sydney Women’s Fund domestic violence appeal target to $1m

$8m philanthropic funding boost to WEHI for pancreatic cancer research

The Balnaves Foundation gives $3m to MCA for spectacular public art

New strategic intent for Paul Ramsay Foundation

Fresh strategic direction from the Jack Brockhoff Foundation

Philanthropy raises Sydney Women’s Fund domestic violence appeal target to $1m

Philanthropy Weekly recently ran a story about the Sydney Women’s Fund (SWF)  launching a quickfire appeal with a target of $300,000 to help support frontline domestic violence services.

The SWF has announced, just two weeks later, that the appeal had already raised $113,000 and they have welcomed a new matched funder, The Wilson Foundation. Its involvement will help SWF to support even more essential frontline services. The Foundation has donated $150,000, bringing the total matching to $300,000, which will be matched dollar for dollar by public donations.

As a result, the SWF have increased their target to $1 million.

Karen Wilson, of the Wilson Foundation, said: “It is crucial we invest in frontline services that offer essential and timely support for women and children escaping domestic and family abuse. Currently, these services are underfunded and under-resourced, forcing many women and children to face domestic and family abuse alone.”

Funds raised will go to several grassroots charity partners supporting victim-survivors of domestic violence, with the aim of granting $50,000 minimum to each one. Ren Fernando, founder of ReLove, said: “$50,000 would allow ReLove to support 100 women and their families to restart by providing a full house of furniture and household items, delivered and set up in their homes the next day.”

Loredana Fyffe, CEO of Sydney Community Foundation, said she is thrilled that the campaign has taken off so quickly, and delighted that so many major donors are coming on board to show their support. “Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far. Your support is making a real difference in the lives of women and children across Greater Sydney.”

$8m philanthropic funding boost to WEHI for pancreatic cancer research

An exceptional $8 million, 10-year philanthropic investment will spearhead new treatments for pancreatic cancer and create a dedicated research centre at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI). The centre, to be established thanks the philanthropy of business leader and WEHI President Jane Hemstritch AO, aims to help close the significant survival gap between pancreatic and other cancers.

The Hemstritch Centre of Excellence for Pancreatic Cancer Research will provide a leading team of scientists and clinicians with long-term funding to ask big research questions. They aim to make major progress in treating the devastating disease. Due to the lack of symptoms in the early stages, just 11.5% of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive five years beyond their diagnosis, and it is expected to be Australia’s second most lethal cancer by 2030. In Australia, 3,600 people die from the disease each year.

Jane Hemstritch’s husband, Philip, died of the disease, two-and-a-half years after diagnosis. His father, Reg, had died of the disease years earlier on the same day he was diagnosed. “Finding effective therapies for this most dreadful of cancers is critically important, so we need to set researchers up so they can make a concentrated effort over the long term – philanthropy is critical to achieving this,” Jane said.

L-R: Dr Belinda Lee, Associate Professor Tracy Putoczki, Jane Hemstritch AO, Clara Kosasih. Credit: WEHI

The Balnaves Foundation gives $3m to MCA for spectacular public art

Three monumental sculptures are to be commissioned for each of the next three years on the doorstep of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Sydney, funded by The Balnaves Foundation. The installations are hoped to bring dynamic and bold public artworks to the people of Sydney and visitors from around the world.

The $3m commission is in honour of passionate arts patron and philanthropist, Neil Balnaves AO, who passed away two years ago. He would have turned 80 this month.

The first Neil Balnaves Tallawoladah Lawn Commission will open to the public in September 2025 for six months. The second will follow in 2026 and the third and final international commission will be staged in 2027. A shortlist of artists has been drafted.

Neil’s daughter Victoria said the commission would be a fitting legacy for her father, who ploughed his wealth into The Balnaves Foundation. “We were wanting to do something special and of a scale that would embody the man,” she said.

As a young, newly engaged couple, her father and mother Diane took to the water in the late 1960s to view Christo and Jean Claude’s wrapping of Little Bay, which like Jeff Koons’ Puppy at the MCA, had been supported by fellow philanthropist, John Kaldor. “It opened his eyes to the impact of public art,” Victoria said.

L-R: Victoria, Hamish and Diane Balnaves with MCA Director Suzanne Cotter on Tallawoladah Lawn
Photo credit: Cassandra Hannagan

New strategic intent for Paul Ramsay Foundation

Paul Ramsay Foundation (PRF) this week unveiled its new strategy, working for a future where people and places have what they need to thrive. The strategy, which focuses on changing the conditions to stop disadvantage in Australia, will guide PRF’s approach to grant-making and partnerships across the social change ecosystem.

The key change for PRF will be to take a systems approach, focussing on people within the context of their families, the places they live, and the conditions that need shifting. PRF’s attention will move from individual issues to a more intersectional approach, addressing root causes and factors that help or hinder people and places to thrive.

With organisations and communities, PRF will invest in, build, and influence the conditions needed to stop disadvantage in Australia via grant packages that will combine multiple levers for change including policies and programs, understanding and redirecting where resources go, and shifting hearts and minds to create change.

Fresh strategic direction from the Jack Brockhoff Foundation

The Jack Brockhoff Foundation is delighted to unveil its dynamic new five-year strategic direction. This forward-thinking strategy reflects its dedication to enhancing the Foundation’s grant-making approach while remaining faithful to the vision of its founder, Sir Jack Brockhoff. The foundation say it is confident that these strategic enhancements will enable it to foster strong relationships with grant partners and to bolster and amplify their positive impact on the health and wellbeing of Victorians.

The new strategy will be in operation from 1 July 2024, and will run for five years, with an evaluation/reflection point midway through.

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