2019-2020 analysis of Ancillary Funds – What do the stats tell us?

ACPNS researchers Marie Balczun, Myles McGregor-Lowndes and Alexandra Williamson have just published their annual analysis of Ancillary Funds in Australia for the period 2019-2020.

The intended purpose of an ancillary fund (or philanthropic foundation) is to act as an intermediary between donors and nonprofit organisations (not individuals) that can receive tax deductible donations.

There are two types of ancillary funds in Australia – Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs), e.g. a private family foundation; and Public Ancillary Funds (PubAFs), e.g. a community foundation.

In total, as at 30 June 2020, there were 3,192 ancillary funds, with combined net assets of $10.33 billion. They received $2.12 billion in donations in the 2019–20 year and distributed $871 million in grants.

The overall picture in 2019-20 for Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs or private #philanthropic foundations) is one of increasing numbers, donations received & net assets; while new PAFs approved and distributions (grants) made have decreased.

For Public Ancillary Funds (PubAFs or public #philanthropic foundations) the overall picture in 2019-20 shows steady net numbers, significant increases in donations received & net assets, while distributions (grants) made have dropped.

The 2019-2020 financial year is an interesting one, as it includes the devastating bushfires over the summer months, as well as the onset of the COVID pandemic in the early months of 2020.

To download a free copy of the Information Sheet, visit

More Working Papers, Information Sheets and statistics about giving in Australia are available from the ACPNS website

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