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Aus Philanthropy Awards celebrating bold, best practice philanthropy in the year that needs it most

August 14th, 2020

A renewed focus on identifying the key supporters, programs, and thinkers behind the nation’s best giving initiatives is at the heart of this year’s Australian Philanthropy Awards.

The awards come at a time when philanthropy’s response to helping Australian communities battle the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has never been more valued.

This year, the Australian Philanthropy Awards will be spread across nine categories, including three new Philanthropy Australia awards and one new cause-related award.

The awards recognise and celebrate extraordinary achievements in contemporary philanthropy for work that is visionary, high impact and transformative. They also celebrate partnerships between philanthropy and for-purpose organisations and honour those who are working to create lasting, positive change.

After a review, Philanthropy Australia has retired two Philanthropy Australia award categories and introduced three new awards that capture current best philanthropic practice. The new categories are Better Philanthropy Award, Bolder Philanthropy Award and the Best Grant Program Award.

“These new categories unashamedly focus on the ‘how’ and ‘the better’ of philanthropy,’’ Philanthropy Australia CEO Sarah Davies said.

One of the three new Philanthropy Australia award categories - Better Philanthropy – will celebrate and recognise how grantmakers embraced or extended their practice.

The new Bolder Philanthropy award will celebrate innovation and fresh thinking. “This is philanthropy’s special power as our social risk capital…to go into that space that no other social resource can work within,’’ Ms Davies explained. 

The third new Philanthropy Australia category - Best Grant program - recognises the need for a rigorous and clever giving strategy. “This shows the value of a considered and effective philanthropic program design,’’ Ms Davies said.

Initiatives that create positive change and empowerment to address a local issue will be recognised with a new partnered Community Philanthropy Award, supported by the Australian Communities Foundation, the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and Australian Community Philanthropy.

The new awards will be presented alongside the 2020 Leading Philanthropist Award, which last year honoured Queensland arts philanthropist Dr Philip Bacon AM.

The other awards are for Environmental Philanthropy, supported by the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network; Indigenous Philanthropy, supported by Ninti One; Gender-wise Philanthropy, supported by the Australian Women Donors Network and International Philanthropy, supported by the Australian International Development Network and Australian Council for International Development. 

Ms Davies said the relationship between philanthropy and community was more vital than ever, and it was important to recognise and celebrate best practice philanthropy to help provide a sense of hope and encouragement in these challenging times. 

Nominations for all Australian Philanthropy Award categories are now open to all members of the philanthropic and broader social change community at Nominations will close at 5 pm on Friday 28 August 2020.  

The Awards will be presented in a digital ceremony on Tuesday 17 November 2020. 

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