Australian foundations and the downturn

Leat, Diana (2010) Australian foundations and the downturn. The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, Brisbane.

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Building on the investigation of the Charity Commission (2009) on the effects of the economic downturn on the largest trusts and foundation in the United Kingdom, the purpose of this research was to assess the extent to which Australian trusts and foundations were taking an actively strategic approach to their investments and pursuit of mission (including grant-making), and the relationship between the two in the context of the economic downturn. Focus was given to identifying the issues raised as a consequence of the economic downturn, rather than providing a generalised snapshot of the ‘average’ foundations response. In September 2009, semi-structured, in depth interviews were conducted with executives of 23 grant making trusts and foundations. The interviews for this research focused on the largest grant makers in terms of grant expenditure, however included foundations from different geographical locations and from across different cause areas. It is important to stress at the outset that this was not a representative sample of foundations; the study aimed to identify issues rather than to present a representative picture of the ‘average’ foundation’s response. It is also important to note that the study was undertaken in September 2009 at a time when many foundations were beginning to feel more optimistic about the longer term future, but aware of continuing and possibly worsening short term income problems. But whatever the financial future, some of the underlying issues, concerning investment and grant making management practices, raised in this report will be of continuing relevance worthy of wider discussion. If a crisis is too good to waste, it is also too good to forget. One other introductory point – as previously noted, interviews for this study were conducted in September 2009 – just one month prior to the introduction of the new Private Ancillary Fund (PAF) legislation which replaced the previous Prescribed Private Fund (PPF) arrangement1. References to PAFs and/or PPFs reflect that time.

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ID Code: 32112
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
ISBN: 9781741073133
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100) > Accounting Auditing and Accountability not elsewhere classified (150199)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 04 May 2010 23:43
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2013 12:40

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