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Foundations for giving report – Ten years on

Philanthropic foundations in Australia have traditionally been labelled ‘icebergs’. Much of what they do and who they are is not apparent on the surface. Foundations for giving, why and how Australians structure their philanthropy, released exactly ten years ago, remains the largest study on foundation decision-making ever undertaken in this country – and the findings are just as relevant now as they were then.

I was probably about halfway through my useful working life…I’ve been incredibly blessed by people and opportunity… So what was I going to do with that?

Considered, ongoing giving through formal structures can support nonprofit organisations over time, provide carefully targeted funds, and underpin productive and creative partnerships. Knowing more about the motivations and choices made by the individuals, families and companies that establish philanthropic trusts and foundations will give their future beneficiaries better opportunities to engage and work with them. The report includes a snapshot of the thinking and actions of 40 people involved in structured, formalised philanthropy who contributed through in-depth interviews.

The report offers many quotes from individuals expressing their views on multiple matters to do with their giving. The richness of the research is in these direct quotes, which are thick with detail, analysis and often emotion. Findings are accumulated into four themes so readers can easily access the areas of most interest or consult a section as it becomes relevant to their own activities and decisions.

Access the report

Citation: Scaife, WendyWilliamson, AlexandraMcDonald, Katie, & Smyllie, Susan (2012) Foundations for giving: why and how Australians structure their philanthropy. Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, Queensland University of Technology, Australia.

doi: 10.5204/rep.eprints.48801


Thank you

This research has been supported by the Perpetual Foundation, the EF and SL Gluyas Trust and the Edward Corbould Charitable Trust under the management of Perpetual Trustee Company Ltd.

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