The Department of Social Services has commissioned research aimed at improving the knowledge base about giving and volunteering patterns and trends to support evidence-based policy development.
Program Related Investment research project
To support the development of advice to Government by the impact investing and partnership’s working group of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership, the Department of Social Services commissioned Philanthropy Australia to undertake research in relation to how Program Related Investments (PRIs) could operate in Australia.
“PRIs are investments made by foundations in support of charitable purposes, with the explicit understanding that those investments will earn below-market returns, adjusted for risk and mission … (GrantCraft, ‘Program-Related Investing: skills and strategies for new PRI funders’, 2006, p2)
- researches and reports on how PRIs operate in the United States and provides evidence of the potential for PRIs to increase the effectiveness of philanthropic giving;
- identifies options for how a similar model might operate in Australia, including providing worked examples of PRI models that are likely to suit Australia’s needs/ the Australian context; and
- analyses the outcomes of the consultation process and recommends a model suitable for implementation in Australia.
This report was commissioned by the Commonwealth of Australia, represented by the Department of Social Services. The purpose of this report is to assist the work of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership.
Any views and recommendations of Philanthropy Australia expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commonwealth of Australia, or indicate a commitment to a particular course of action. The Commonwealth of Australia makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness or currency of the information contained in this report.
Giving Australia 2016
The Department has commissioned the Queensland University of Technology Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Non-profit Studies to manage Giving Australia 2016 in partnership with the Swinburne University of Technology’s Centre for Social Impact and Centre for Corporate Public Affairs.
Giving Australia 2016 will collect comprehensive, up-to-date information from individuals, charitable organisations, philanthropists and businesses in Australia. This includes the giving of time, information, goods and services, voice and influence, as well as money, to improve the wellbeing of humanity and the community. Giving Australia 2016 will provide critical information about giving and volunteering behaviours, attitudes and trends.
This data collection will refresh and expand on information gathered through Giving Australia 2005, commissioned as an initiative of the previous Partnership (1999 – 2007), to improve the understanding of philanthropic behaviours by individuals and businesses in Australia and to provide baseline data.
Giving Australia 2016 is expected to be completed in late 2016.
Giving and volunteering among multicultural and Indigenous communities
The Department has commissioned the Cultural and Indigenous Research Centre Australia (CIRCA) to explore giving and volunteering among multicultural and Indigenous communities within Australia. CIRCA’s research will:
- consider whether traditional definitions and measurements are adequate to capture the patterns of spontaneous and planned giving and volunteering within different cultural communities
- explore the views and perceptions among multicultural and Indigenous communities about giving and volunteering. This should include understanding of how approaches to volunteering and giving differ:
- across cultural groups
- between established and new and emerging communities
- among men and women within cultural groups
- across generations, particularly younger people i.e. Gen Y and Millennials
- gain insight into what the term ‘volunteering’ means within multicultural and Indigenous communities
- understand the extent to which stereotypes of traditional volunteering roles can be a barrier to encouraging people from multicultural and Indigenous backgrounds to volunteer in formal volunteering settings
- identify opportunities to grow giving and volunteering for and among multicultural and Indigenous communities
- better understand how the volunteer and philanthropic effort of the broader Australian community, including the corporate sector, can best support multicultural and Indigenous communities and the complex issues they face
- identify opportunities to support volunteer-involving organisations to build accessibility into volunteering initiatives across cultural groups
- better understand how the philanthropic sector engages with multicultural and Indigenous communities to increase giving and volunteering.
Giving and volunteering among multicultural and Indigenous communities is to be completed by April 2016.
Technology and platforms for giving and volunteering
The Department has commissioned the Queensland University of Technology Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Non-profit Studies to research emerging technology and platforms for giving of money, goods and skilled and un-skilled volunteering in Australia and overseas. This project will assess:
- technology and platforms currently available in Australia and internationally
- what has been evaluated about technology and platforms for giving that work in Australia and internationally
- current Australian use and engagement with these, from existing literature and selected stakeholders
- demographic information on usage:
- by individual givers
- by organisations that are effectively using platforms to raise funds (actively and passively)
- users and non-users, to identify enablers and constraints;
- emerging technology and platforms (what is on the horizon) in relation to:
- giving cash and goods/items
- skilled and unskilled volunteering
- the potential for Australian givers, volunteers and the charitable sector to engage with these platforms and technologies, identifying any barriers
Technology and platforms for giving and volunteering is expected to be completed in early to mid 2016.