Are you a grantseeker or fundraiser? Get a jump on 2020 with these great resources!

Three great resources grantseekers and fundraisers should be tapping into

Are you a grantseeker or fundraiser? This month we’re making it super easy for you to tap into some great resources that you might not know about.

Events – Past and upcoming!

Upcoming: Free grant-seeking tutorials

In 2020 we’ll be holding free quarterly tutorials for grantseekers and fundraisers where you will gain access to high-quality resources and expertise for your organisation.

If you’re looking to secure a grant for your cause or get a behind-the-scenes look at what donors in your area are doing, this tutorial is for you. The tute allows you to view the QUT Community Collection for grant-seekers, fundraisers and philanthropists and shows you how to use the world’s leading grant-seeking database, the Foundation Directory Online. QUT is the only institution in the Southern Hemisphere to host this unique collection. We thank the experts at Strategic Grants for being the volunteer tutorial facilitators and helping real dollars to flow to attendees!

2020 dates include 7 Feb, 1 May, 7 Aug and 6 Nov (dates yet to be confirmed).

To register your interest, email – but be quick, bookings fill up very quickly!


Past: Grantseeking workshops

Access free video recordings of the grantseeking workshops held at The Power of Community Conference*. These valuable workshops will give you insights and practical take-aways on improving engagement with your stakeholders and fulfilling your mission. Topics include:

Telling Tales with a Purpose: Using

Organisational Storytelling to Raise Funds, presented by Dr Anne Lane (QUT)

Why Empathy Helps you Fundraise Better, presented by Dr Ruth Knight (ACPNS)

How to Find Grants and Write Winning Grant Applications, presented by Dr Anne Lane, Jo Garner (Strategic Grants), Georgia Stafford (Gambling Community Benefit Fund), Dr Alex Williamson (ACPNS)

We will also be releasing other recordings from the conference, all designed to impart insights, strategies and tools to support community organisations. Keynotes include Strategies to Craft Your Story and The Role of Resilience. Other workshop topics include Marketing, Governance and Volunteer Management.

While the recordings are yet to be released, we encourage you to register your interest by emailing The links to recordings will be sent to you in the New Year as they are released. 

* The Power of Community Conference celebrates and builds on the impact our community organisations are having across Queensland. Grassroots organisations have a long history of bringing about positive social change, connecting people and building stronger, more resilient communities. To celebrate this, and as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations, the Queensland Government’s Gambling Community Benefit Fund (GCBF) and ACPNS partnered to present the conference in November 2019.


Past: FIA/ACPNS Alumni Anniversary Breakfast

If you’re looking for some great intel and direction for your 2020 strategy, then this podcast is for you!

QUT’s 2019 Outstanding Business Alumni Winner and one of Australia’s most senior and respected philanthropic leaders, Caitriona Fay (Head of Community and Social Investments at Perpetual Limited), presented the FIA/ACPNS Alumni Anniversary Breakfast address in November 2019. A panel of colleagues also added their views, including Cameron Prout, General Manager, Fundraising at Uniting Care; and Meredith Dwyer, Director, HomeMade Digital Australia and 2019 winner of the Arthur Venn Fundraiser of the Year Award. Pick up some great tips for your fundraising!

Access the recording via our podcast page

Tools and publications

We know fundraising and grantseeking. We’ve been researching both topics for nearly two decades and before that our researchers were working in the sector and fundraising for their causes as well. So this weekend, instead of Netflix binging, snuggle up with some great reads that will make you a smarter and more compelling fundraiser.

And don’t forget to check out our great giving tools. How ‘giving’ are your neighbours? And how ‘giving’ is your occupation? Check out our giving statistics tool to find out!



Giving Australia

Giving Australia* is the largest analysis of giving and volunteering of its kind ever undertaken in this country. Its findings and insights are changing the way nonprofits operate in many areas, from governance to ethical marketing and fundraising. The knowledge base about giving and volunteering patterns and trends is also being used to support evidence-based policy development. Fundraisers and grantseekers in particular can plan and prioritise better using the findings.

*Giving Australia was commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Social Services as an initiative of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership. It was led by the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS) at QUT with the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology and the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs.

Foundations for giving: why and how Australians structure their philanthropy

Philanthropic foundations in Australia have traditionally been labelled ‘icebergs’ – much of what they do and who they are is not apparent on the surface. Many are unknown and apart from an occasional biography, almost all are sparsely documented in terms of the very personal decisions behind establishing them. Practically and academically, scant data exist on the decision journeys people make into formalised philanthropy. Hear the voices of Australia’s philanthropists.

Defining and Accounting for Fundraising Income and Expenses

Charities’ fundraising financial transactions should be reported in the interests of accountability, and the report should be publicly available. However, research shows that at present there is little consistency in how fundraising is defined or in how such transactions are reported, and little guidance from accounting standards. Can we find a way forward? And what does it mean for your accounting practices?

A study of professional advisers in Australia

Our researchers regularly survey professional advisers to affluent Australians intermittently to seek their views and experiences around client and personal philanthropy. Why? Because professional advisers on finance, wealth management, law, accounting, taxation, estate management and beyond are an important nexus with people who have the capacity to channel significant funding into community need.

Approaches to cross-border charity in Australia and the UK

The late twentieth century witnessed the transformation of the global economy. In just two decades, cross-border philanthropy grew from approximately USD 5 billion to USD 32 billion. This report examines what this era of “philanthropic globalisation’ means for charities across the world and how Australia’s fiscal policies regarding cross-border philanthropy can affect your fundraising.

Grantmaking in a Disorderly World: The Limits of Rationalism

This article reflects on the real world relevance of rational approaches to grantmaking. Unpacking implicit assumptions of a rational approach, eight costs to foundations and their grantees are identified. The paper also considers what grantmaking for a complex and disorderly world might encompass and how and why funders need to adapt to a little discomfort.

Domestic and international grantmaking: the comfort of codes

This paper focuses on codes of practice in domestic and international philanthropic giving/grantmaking, their similarities and differences. Codes of principle and practice are interesting not so much because they accurately reflect differences in practice on the ground, but rather because they indicate what is considered important or relevant, as well as aspirational.

Fundraising and boards: be a leader and a meddler!

The old board maxim says, ‘Be a leader not a meddler’! However, in the case of board members and fundraising, meddling is wise. Why? Because the board has a responsibility and a unique opportunity to guide and support its organisation’s fundraising. Indeed, in successful nonprofit organisations fundraising is an attitude, not a department.

Who’s asking for what? Fundraising and leadership in Australian nonprofits

The nonprofit funding landscape is in flux. Many organisations are having to think differently and develop fresh skills either to enter the fundraising market or to cope better with rising competition for community and corporate support. This new reality affects boards, CEOs and fundraisers alike. Against this backdrop, our exploratory study aims to build an evidence base and spark more discussion about: – the role Australian nonprofit CEOs and boards play in supporting fundraising/development; – current engagement levels; and – perceptions of leadership in fundraising from two possibly contrasting perspectives: NP leaders (board members and CEOs); and fundraisers.

Keeping giving going: charitable bequests and Australians

The potential of bequests to contribute to the sustainability of charities is immense, with social and economic trends opening up the bequest landscape. Yet so much is unknown about how Australians think about charitable bequests – particularly about the motivations, barriers and triggers surrounding this behaviour. Do bequestors differ from other donors? What prevents good intentions from becoming good actions? Where do charities figure in this process? This study aims at a better understanding of those Australians who make a charitable bequest and those who might.

Every player wins a prize? Family provision applications and bequests to charity

This research deals with the interaction of family provision law and charitable bequests in wills, including qualitative research relating to the practical issues arising with both legal practitioners and charities’ bequest officers.


If you want to get ahead of the crowd and fine-tune your fundraising skills, these short, sharp six-week units are for you! Taught as part of the Graduate Certificate in Business (Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies), these units will give you an in-depth understanding of fundraising principles, donor expectations and what it takes to develop and evaluate compelling fundraising programs.


Fundraising Development Principles

Learn what influences fundraising/development success. Be able to apply theories of marketing, public relations, management and beyond to fundraising and development and understand the philanthropic environment and donor perspectives. Know more about whether you’re ready to win support, how to build your story, leadership, constituencies and fundraising markets in the context of good, ethical development practice.

Fundraising Development Techniques

Study techniques including capital and major gifts, special events, bequests, direct mail, telemarketing, e-fundraising, donor circles and the art of building donor relationships – and how to plan and evaluate fundraising programs.

Want to delve even deeper? The Master of Business (Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies) is designed to extend your real-world knowledge and allows you to tailor your studies for a career in fundraising or another discipline to support your research and employment goals.

Thirsting for more info? Give us a call on +61 7 3138 1020 today. You’ll be talking directly with someone here at ACPNS who can answer all your questions or email and we’ll pop a student pack in the mail to you today.

“I love fundraising and philanthropy and helping charities to do better at fundraising. My mantra is encouraging philanthropy and managing fundraising. Studying at QUT has given me confidence in my learning ability and the ability to apply these learning to real-life situations.”

Margaret Scott FFIA CFRE, ACPNS alumnus and winner of the 2014 Arthur Venn Fundraiser of the Year Award

Thanks for reading! We hope you’ve gleaned some great pointers for your fundraising! And remember, there’s even more great information on our new site at


New ACPNS website now LIVE!

Unlock a wealth of information and expertise!

The new ACPNS website has just launched and it’s full of resources and publications designed to assist you in making your philanthropic, nonprofit or social enterprise thrive!

Free resources include:

We invite you to have a look, get some great info and advice and we’d also love your feedback! Email us at

We truly hope our new site (which will evolve and get bigger and better all the time) will be your go-to place for nonprofit research, courses and events! 

2020 COURSES & SCHOLARSHIPS – Want to make a difference? Now’s your chance

The philanthropy, nonprofit and social enterprise sector needs more qualified individuals to join its ranks – that means YOU.

By studying at the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS), you will develop the skills for a career in the management of philanthropic, nonprofit and social enterprise organisations. Our alumni are equipped with high quality skills and knowledge allowing them to shape, inspire and advance the sector, from protecting animals and the environment to changing the lives of thousands of people for the better every day.

Our courses will empower you to make a difference.

  • Study from wherever you are in Australia or New Zealand
  • Six-week teaching periods allow you to get a valuable qualification under your belt in less than a year
  • Our courses are globally-recognised and highly-regarded. Our alumni are sought after by nonprofit employers, both here and overseas
  • Our lecturers are leaders in their fields, have a forefront role in sector research and a passion for teaching
  • Studying at ACPNS means you may be eligible for range of scholarships and bursaries
  • You don’t necessarily need an undergrad degree to enrol – QUT may take your work experience into account when you apply.

By undertaking the Graduate Certificate in Business (Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies) you will acquire skills and knowledge in eight core areas:

March/April 2020
Philanthropic and Nonprofit Frameworks of Governance
Management for Philanthropic and Nonprofit Organisations

Ethics for Philanthropic and Nonprofit Organisations
Introduction to Social Enterprise

Legal Issues for Philanthropic and Nonprofit Organisations
Fundraising Development Principles

Accounting and Finance Issues for Philanthropic & Nonprofit Organisations
Fundraising Development Techniques

Want to take your skills and knowledge a step further?
You can build on these units by undertaking the Master of Business (Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies) or – let us pay the bills – and study the Master of Philosophy (Research).

New students undertaking study in 2020 may be eligible to apply for the Myles McGregor-Lowndes Scholarship and a range of bursaries, available only to ACPNS students. But you’ll need to be quick!

Our alumni are making a difference in many parts of the world, changing the lives of thousands of people for the better every day. You can too. Watch this fab video to see how ACPNS alumni are changing the world.

  • 81% – Percentage of ACPNS alumni working in senior/high level positions in the sector
  • 11% – Percentage of ACPNS alumni working in countries other than Australia
  • 9% – Percentage of ACPNS alumni who have founded their own nonprofit, social enterprise or philanthropic organisation

If you apply now, you could be graduating next year!

By enrolling in our 2020 intake for the Graduate Certificate in Business (Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies), you could be donning your graduation hat in November 2020!


Want to chat?
We love to chat! If you have any questions, pick up the phone and give us a call. You’ll be speaking directly with someone at ACPNS who will be able to answer all your questions. Alternatively, email us for a free course information pack and we’ll pop it in the post for you today.

Phone: +61 7 3138 1020
Twitter: @acpns_qut

Power of Community Conference – what a day!

On Thursday the 21st of November, ACPNS, in partnership with the Gambling Community Benefit Fund, hosted the inaugural Power of Community Conference. This Conference celebrated and built on the impact our community organisations are having across Queensland. Grassroots organisations have a long history of bringing about positive social change, connecting people and building stronger, more resilient communities and we wanted to recognize this and support the next stage of growth for these organisations. We focused on creating change at a local level and had many inspiring presentations and workshops from 15 different experts in the non-profit sector.

These included our two keynote speakers Steve Austin, with a compelling speech on the ‘Power of Storytelling’, and Ruth Limkin, urging all of our delegates to practice a little more self-care (so they can continue to put 100% into their organisations) during her presentation on ‘The Role of Resilience’.

There was also an interactive roundtable on ‘Crafting your Story’; a panel discussion on finding grants and writing winning applications; and workshops on fundraising, marketing, volunteer management and governance.

Two-hundred and five Queensland nonprofit organisations were represented at the conference from a range of areas in the sector, including arts, education, social welfare, health, recreation, religious and environmental groups. As well as having opportunities to learn from our speakers, delegates had the opportunity to network and connect with each other throughout the day.


What a truly amazing event. Over and over throughout the day I spoke to people who were inspired, and incredibly thankful (and at times surprised) by how much they learned today.


We received a fantastic response to the conference, and it truly was an inspiring day for us here at ACPNS and GCBF too. If you missed out, don’t worry! ACPNS runs a number of webinars and events throughout the year, and in 2020 we are excited to be sharing some of the insights from the conference with you. If you are interested in hearing about these upcoming events, and learning more about the Power of Community Conference, please email us at:

Thank you for putting together such an awesome conference! From start to end it was perfect.


We have had an overwhelming response to the conference and unfortunately we cannot accept any more due to room restrictions. But never fear, check out these other great events we have coming up

Date TBC

We are offering a half-day free webinar for all those unable to attend the conference. Content will include highlights from the conference and will be jam-packed with great tips and advice for your fundraising, marketing, governance and volunteer management. Stay tuned for more details.

Find out more by emailing

12 November 2019

Focus in on your 2020 success!
QUT’s 2019 Outstanding Business Alumni Winner and one of Australia’s most senior and respected philanthropic leaders, Caitriona Fay (Head of Community and Social Investments at Perpetual Limited), is presenting this year’s FIA/ACPNS Alumni Anniversary Breakfast address.

What are the big issues and opportunities for you and your revenue results and sustainability in 2020? A panel of colleagues will also add their views, including Cameron Prout, General Manager, Fundraising at Uniting Care; and Meredith Dwyer, Director, HomeMade Digital Australia and 2019 winner of the Arthur Venn Fundraiser of the Year Award.

Find out more and register

11 December 2019 presented by Dr Ruth Knight

Uncover your organisation’s potential, challenge conventional thinking, gain powerful foresight Thinking strategically is one of the core capabilities of an effective and high performing team. Being strategic allows the team to tackle complex and challenging organisational and people matters confidently. In this session you will hear how your organisations culture critically impacts how management and staff think about problems and make strategic decisions.

Find out more by emailing

Registrations Open for Power of Community Conference

On 21 November, grassroots organisations will come together for the Power of Community Conference — and you’re invited.

The Power of Community Conference celebrates and builds on the impact our community organisations are having across Queensland. Grassroots organisations have a long history of bringing about positive social change, connecting people and building stronger, more resilient communities.

To celebrate this, and as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations, the Queensland Government’s Gambling Community Benefit Fund (GCBF) and QUT’s Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS) are partnering to present the 2019 Power of Community Conference.

With a focus on creating change at a local level, the program will be a combination of presentations from nonprofit experts, including the importance of storytelling, how to attract grants, when and how to innovate and the importance of resilience and wellbeing and hands-on roundtables and workshops on four key areas including marketing, fundraising, volunteer management and governance.

The day will include

  • Inspiring presentations by nonprofit leaders who are experts in their fields
  • Interactive roundtables aimed at sharpening your communication and storytelling skills
  • Workshops designed to build your skills in marketing, fundraising, volunteer management and governance
  • Real-world, practical strategies and advice you can put into practice immediately
  • Networking opportunities with like-minded colleagues and sector leaders
  • Entry to a prize draw where the winner receives one-on-one mentoring from nonprofit experts
  • Access to organisations and businesses supporting nonprofits via the expo which will be running between sessions
  • Continued engagement post the conference with webinar series.

The cost to attend this full-day event is just $47 per person. Only one person per organisation is invited to attend. This will allow a variety of organisations to attend and provides a great networking opportunity.

To read more, visit the website

If you’re ready to book, visit the registration page

Recent oration: Congratulations to John Emerson AM!

We are delighted to share that our good friend and ACPNS Advisory Board Member from its foundation, John Emerson recently received an oration.

Commission Robert Fitzgerald delivered the John Emerson AM oration on the 7th of August in honour of John Emerson AM’s dedicated service to clients and community and his retirement from legal practice. Robert also spoke on the topic Lawyers and their influence under the public spotlight’ – Will Royal Commissions and community expectations change legal practice?. He was a Commissioner on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, a Productivity Commissioner since 2004 and inaugural Chair of the ACNC Advisory Board. The Oration was chaired by Jennifer Batrouney QC, Chair of the Law Council’s Not-for-Profit and Legal Practice and Charities Committee.

Both John and Robert served with distinction on the Advisory Board of ACPNS over many years and gave freely of their time and talents to guide the development of the Centre, its researchers and students. They were both at the heart of a thought-provoking address about some of the most important issues facing the social licence of Australian charities and their advisors.

John Emerson is recognised Australia-wide as an expert in the tax laws applicable to charities and until recently headed the Herbert Smith Freehill’s Charity Law practice. John was the pro bono partner at the Melbourne office which pioneered such activities which are now commonplace for large law firms. John was also a member of the Board of Taxation and a number of other legal and public sector committees that are active in charity tax and pro bono areas. John is a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) ‘for services to law and to the community, particularly through the provision of advice to charities and not-for-profit organisations and the development of public administration reform to encourage philanthropy in Australia’.

The oration can be streamed from:

Congrats to Outstanding Alumni Awards Winner, ACPNS alumna, Caitriona Fay!

The Outstanding Alumni Awards recognises graduates of QUT and its predecessor institutions for exceptional professional achievements and contributions to the community.

ACPNS is extremely proud to announce the 2019 Business School Faculty winner is ACPNS alumna, Caitriona Fay!

A passionate advocate for social investment and leader in the philanthropy, financial services and nonprofit sectors, Caitriona (Cat) Fay obtained her Graduate Certificate in Business (Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies) from QUT in 2013. She is General Manager, Community and Social Investments, with Perpetual Ltd, one of Australia’s oldest financial services companies and one of the largest managers of philanthropic funds.

Cat currently oversees investments of $4.1 billion in community funds across philanthropy, nonprofit organisations and Native Title Trusts. Under her management, Perpetual’s philanthropy clients distribute more than $100 million annually through philanthropic trusts, estates, and endowments.

More fast facts about Caitriona:

  • An estimate of grants funding overseen at The Ian Potter Foundation – $200M in distributions
  • An estimate of grants funding overseen at Perpetual – $500M in distributions by clients
  • Approximately 3,500 grants made to organisations working across the charity sector
  • $1bn in organic business growth (FuA) over the past three year
  • Overseen the growth of Perpetual’s philanthropic business from 600 philanthropic trusts and endowments to approximately 1,100 over the past five years.

Want to find out more about Cat and her outstanding achievements in the sector to date? Listen to Cat’s Podcast here, which includes great tips on entering the philanthropy and nonprofit sector.Cat is also our special guest speaker at this year’s FIA/ACPNS Alumni Anniversary Breakfast scheduled for Tues 12 Nov. For more info about this event, email

We offer our warm congratulations to Cat for this tribute – a worthy winner. Caitriona, a 2013 graduate has had an impact on the strategic workings of philanthropy and nonprofits in Australia and beyond at a relatively young age. She has been an honest and respected voice and led work in large and emerging issues such as digital impacts, Indigenous matters, and trust in institutions, philanthropy’s role in democracy.

QUT has now announced all Faculty winners to be honoured at the university’s 2019 Outstanding Alumni Awards ceremony this month.

The six Faculty winners will be celebrated at the Outstanding Alumni Awards dinner on Thursday 22 August at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. Also at the event, the QUT Outstanding Alumnus of the Year and Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year will be announced.

For more information on the Awards, 2019 nominees and 2018 winners, please visit the Outstanding Alumni Awards.

Dr Ruth Knight on the Year of Accountability, Measuring Outcomes and Asking the Right Questions with Tom Allen from Impact Boom

This week, Dr Ruth Knight from the ACPNS shared her thoughts about accountability, measuring outcomes, and asking the right questions with Tom Allen from Impact Boom. Each week Tom asks a different community leader to share their ideas, initiatives, insights and inspiration for how we can create positive social impact in our own communities, and then he shares these insights with Impact Boom’s global community.

In this interview Ruth highlights there has been much change over the last twenty years in the nonprofit sector, with evidence of impact becoming increasingly important to their supporters. This has changed the playing field for nonprofits and social enterprises, who must now place greater emphasis on justifying that they truly are making positive impacts in their communities.

Ruth and the ACPNS are playing a big role in helping social enterprises to provide this information to interested parties. As she states, ACPNS uses education to work with sector leaders to build their capacity and capability within the sector; as well as research to examine trends and predict what will be needed to help the sector thrive and flourish as we move into the future. Ruth herself, being a social enterprise lecturer and researcher encourages social entrepreneurs to ask the right questions to ensure that the right solutions to social problems are reached.

Read the article or listen to the podcast