Gina AndersonPhilanthropy AustraliaImproving the Legal & Enabling Environment for Philanthropy
Battle for Private Philanthropic Foundations in Australia
The Context(or Issueor Challenge)
In December 2008 the Australian Treasury added to the gloom emanating from financial markets by issuing a Discussion Paper on Prescribed Private Funds (PPFs), now known as Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs), which seemed to imply that the government should set such a high minimum distribution rate (about 15%) that they would all disappear within less than 10 years. Public disclosure of philanthropists contact details was also at issueIn 2001 a new private philanthropic structure was legislated. It filled a gap in the structures which facilitated additional giving rather than redirection of existing activity. Today there are more than 800 PAFs with more than $2.5bn under management, distributing more than $100m to charity per year.
Process Policy Alert by email to members which allowed them to pass on to others! Lots of Membership input into submission responses Positioned responses to the Australian Treasury to meet their long term goals ie not just about tax but importance of PPFs/PAFs to building a culture of philanthropy to benefit the community, build social cohesion & inclusion Active advocacy at all levels: Ministers and politicians, bureaucrats, business and NFPOs But kept my biggest weapon, the media, in my jacket as a last resort which I didnt need.
Resources Involved Time, Patience and Persistence Active engagement of Council and Members Highly skilled Technical Committee Used best lobbyist group in the country!
Results Bipartisan political support for philanthropy for the first time in Australia Private philanthropic foundation (PAF) model that is easy to understand, easy to set up, easy to comply with, easy to monitor, with 5% minimum distribution rate & philanthropists privacy protected
Philanthropy Australia reinforced role as champion of philanthropy & recognised for quality public policy submissionsLessons Learned Provocative policy alert galvanised membership, business community, & NFPOs Mix of financial, legal, prof. advisors & philanthropists on Technical Committee
Positioning advocacy to meet Treasury and Tax Office concerns critical