Collective giving builds philanthropy and stronger communities
New research led by Creative Partnerships Australia suggests that participating in collective giving has the potential to substantially grow philanthropy and build stronger communities in Australia.
New research led by Creative Partnerships Australia, and commissioned by the Department of Social Services (DSS) for the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership, suggests that participating in collective giving has the potential to substantially grow philanthropy and build stronger communities in Australia.
The research report, Collective giving and its role in Australian philanthropy, sheds light on the emergence of collective giving, a relatively new model of giving in Australia that involves individuals coming together and pooling their resources to fund social change. This is the first time the Australian Government has commissioned specific research on collective giving.
Creative Partnerships CEO Fiona Menzies said the report provides insight into the key characteristics of different models of collective giving and the impact of this new giving trend. “The research measures the change in philanthropic behaviour of donors and explores the experience of charities that have received grants. It also identified challenges and barriers faced by giving groups and identifies resources that would support further growth.
“Collecting giving can take many forms, but what these community-driven initiatives all have in common is the potential to cultivate more engaged, more knowledgeable and more lasting philanthropists, and to grow philanthropy in Australia overall.
“Most of the donors we interviewed reported a better understanding of how philanthropy works and the needs of the community through their involvement in collective giving. Importantly, they also displayed a longer-term commitment to giving, and an increase in the amount they give,” Ms Menzies said.
Partnership member Alexandra Gartmann said the report highlights emerging trends in how people engage in philanthropy in the 21st Century. “A key focus for the Partnership is to identify and encourage new forms of philanthropy, bringing these to the attention of those who want to give, and those who are seeking partnerships – be that in government, business or the not for profit sector – and reviewing how traditional frameworks enable or hinder new approaches that could benefit Australian communities.”
Partnership member Colleen McGann said: “This important piece of research, along with Giving Australia, builds our knowledge and provides an invaluable basis for the Partnership’s policy advice to Government.”
Since 2010, several highly organised models of collective philanthropy have developed in Australia, making strategic and powerful philanthropy accessible to many. The research drew on the experience of 17 giving groups with responses from founders, members, recipient charities and organisations that host these groups.
Though still in the very early stages of development in Australia, the number of giving groups is likely to grow in line with international trends.
Online collective giving platforms such as Goodmob and My Giving Circle have joined Australian organisations such as Impact100, Women and Change, the Melbourne Women’s Fund, 100 Women and the First Seeds Fund in recent years. The Funding Network Australia, which uses live crowdfunding events to bring donors and community groups together, is another successful example of this trend toward collective, or collaborative, giving.
Continued growth will depend on increasing the diversity of giving groups and overcoming hurdles such as the lack of philanthropic literacy, start-up costs and the increasing pressure experienced by volunteers as successful groups grow.
One major challenge identified by the research was that there is currently no single source of information or support for people interested in starting a collective giving group in their community. Although the concept is simple, the research outlines several challenges new groups face and recommends basic support to help individuals and communities navigate the choices available to them.
Collective giving and its role in Australian philanthropy was commissioned by DSS to support the objectives of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership, which brings together prominent Australians from business and community sectors to provide advice to Government on philanthropic giving, volunteering and investment in Australia.
The report is available online at the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership website.
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