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Philanthropy Australia COVID-19 Statement

March 17th, 2020

Our purpose at Philanthropy Australia is to serve the philanthropic community to achieve more and better philanthropy. The need for more and better philanthropy in Australia has never been more profound, as our community grapples with the double challenge of managing COVID-19 (coronavirus) while still very much feeling the loss, impact and reality of the fires and floods we experienced over summer.

Given the exceptional circumstances surrounding COVID-19, we are keen to give our members and community an update on changes Philanthropy Australia is putting in place to help keep our staff, colleagues, partners and members safe; to support the broader public health needs; and to continue to serve our members in their work to create positive social, cultural and environmental change.

Like all Australian organisations, Philanthropy Australia has been carefully monitoring advice around COVID-19 and reviewing our operations and policies. These steps will help to keep our organisation and our purpose moving forward during this time of uncertainty.  

We will provide regular updates through Philanthropy Weekly and email, as this is fast moving and we are all interpreting and responding to developments daily.

How can Philanthropy best respond to COVID-19?

Philanthropy Australia has outlined 10 possible approaches or actions philanthropy can take to play a positive, constructive role in helping us all understand, respond to and address the challenges of COVID-19 and our public health situation. Read more here.

Philanthropy Australia Membership Services

We will engage, collaborate and work together through this critical time. Philanthropy has a critical and unique role to play in supporting individuals and communities through the preparedness, response and resilience building phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. The world is seeing a wave of philanthropic activity around coronavirus, and we expect this to increase as the spread and scale of the health situation continues to grow.  

We have already started collaborating with government, agencies and our members about the role of strategic and structured giving in addressing and recovering from this global situation, and preparing for and preventing future health emergencies, and we will continue to progress the conversation and many others over the coming weeks and months. 

Philanthropy Australia will continue to operate

As the peak body for philanthropy in Australia, Philanthropy Australia remains open for business and we will continue to provide our usual high level of service, support and activities. For now, our offices are remaining open for staff, with increased hygiene and social distancing measures in place to keep our team healthy and safe. We are also giving team members the option to work from home where possible and appropriate.

While we may need to close some our physical offices in the coming days or weeks to assist with reducing the spread of the virus, our team is very well equipped to continue operations remotely, with excellent computer, video and telephone technology. We are still available by phone and email as per usual, and will respond to your queries and emails as quickly as we can. We look forward to continuing to engage with our members and partners over the phone, via email and in the digital space.

Unless and until the Melbourne office is physically closed, the 1300 511 500 public contact phone number is operational during business hours.

We will continue working to achieve more and better philanthropy in Australia

While our day to day operations may look a little different to usual, our work to achieve better and more philanthropy will continue unchanged. We remain as passionate as ever about progressing our purpose, and we will continue to work to deliver our different policy priorities and initiatives. 

We will continue working to deliver our strategic objectives, including actively pursuing our Policy Agenda priorities, influencing and advancing philanthropic thinking and practice, building awareness of the purpose and role of philanthropy in society, and engaging with our members – even though we may need to get a little creative in how we come together, connect and engage! 

We will transition to a digital events program

We’ve been talking to our members and monitoring health advice and recommendations from authorities closely about how we deliver events. To ensure the safety of our members and our team, we have made the difficult but important decision to suspend face-to-face events in all states until further notice.

Our planned Network meetings will be run digitally, using video and teleconference technology to bring our networks together to share ideas and conversation. We are working through our planned events and emailing participants with information on how to join by phone or video. 

We are looking at our future events calendar and will be back in touch with detailed information about our digital event offerings in the coming weeks and months. 

We will continue to deliver news, resources, leadership and learning opportunities

Our digital member platform, the Better Giving Hub, provides members with the opportunity to access resources, information, learning and collaboration opportunities anytime, anywhere. We will continue to provide the latest news, information and resources through the Better Giving Hub, with an increased focus on delivering even more digital content for our members than ever before. 

If you haven’t accessed the Better Giving Hub before, we encourage you to take the time to log in, browse and contribute. You can access the Better Giving Hub from the home page of our website. If you’re not sure how to login, please reach out to us by email. If you have forgotten your password, you can reset it with just a few clicks from the login page. 

As we implement ‘social distancing’, this member resource is perfectly placed to support you in your work and engagement with each other.

As well as focusing on delivering great content through our Better Giving Hub over the coming weeks and months, we’ll continue to keep you updated through our website, our Philanthropy Weekly newsletter and regular emails. 

Resources, reading and philanthropic activity 

There are many resources and articles relating to COVID-19, philanthropy and giving being shared around the world during this difficult time, here are some that may be of interest.  

For more resources, visit our COVID-19 Resources page

Next steps

We appreciate that the COVID-19 situation is continually evolving and there is a need to remain alert and informed as the situation changes and progresses. We will continue to monitor the latest official advice from officials around COVID-19 and will keep you updated regularly. 

We understand that these are uncertain and challenging times for all of us. Please let us know what we can do to help and if you have any questions. Meanwhile we will continue to develop and deliver our program of work and services and update you regularly.

Leading Philanthropist 2020

Carol Schwartz AO

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COVID-19 Funding Opportunities

Access the Australian Communities Foundation National Funding Portal for philanthropic funders to connect with the funding opportunities available to tackle COVID-19.

Access Portal here