Through Twitter, Philanthropy Australia recently recognised the contribution and longevity of the oldest philanthropic foundation in Australia, the Wyatt Benevolent Institution, established in 1886.
Compared to the Wyatt Benevolent Institution and so many other Australian organisations like it, the philanthropic activities of the Bennelong Group are in their infancy, but we are pleased in 2012 to be recognising the Bennelong Foundation’s 10th year of supporting the community.
The recent Philanthropy Australia tweet highlighted two things. Firstly, the benefits of longevity and how, with some foresight, a sustainable philanthropic legacy can be established. And secondly, the benefits of embracing change with the use of new technologies such as Twitter to promote giving.
Since the establishment of the Bennelong Foundation 10 years ago, much has changed.
Although there has been a lot of discussion recently about the level of giving in Australia being below that of our peers from other countries, the growth of private ancillary funds over the last decade has been impressive. The Bennelong Foundation was the first of only a handful to be established in Australia, but today there are close to 1,000 in existence with over $2 billion in corpus available to promote sustainable giving.
The activities within the Bennelong Foundation have also expanded during this time. Not only in terms of the quantity of our grants, but also in terms of employee engagement, in-kind support, governance and program innovation.
Our areas of focus and grant guidelines have continued to evolve as we have moved from providing grants largely on the basis of good intentions by good causes, towards making the funding increasingly dependent on the probability of good outcomes.
So after 10 years, I am pleased to present the Bennelong Foundation 10th Annual Report for financial year 2011/2012.
During the year the Foundation made a total of 27 grants, although many more were also positively impacted by in-kind support provided by Bennelong Group employees. We also enjoyed the continued support of the Dubai Duty Free Foundation who continued to co-fund a number of grants throughout the year.
In addition to the provision of grants, we were particular proud of two new projects.
For those that have been actively involved in the Bennelong Foundation’s philanthropic activities over the last 10 years, it is without doubt that the benefits and rewards that have flowed to us as a result of that involvement have far outweighed the monetary value of the grants providing to deserving recipients.
Once again, thank you to my fellow Directors, Advisors to the Board, Youth Committee members, Susan Frances and Phil Henty for your guidance and efforts throughout the year.
And finally, to the wider Bennelong Group and its employees (including our UK colleagues who continue to provide philanthropic support directly through Crown Golf), I would like to thank you for significant contributions throughout 2012.
I look forward to continuing to build a sustainable foundation into the future much like Dr William Wyatt way back in 1886!