Structured giving vehicles

The following data has been extracted from the Giving Australia 2016 Philanthropy and philanthropists report. The full report is available for free download.

Giving Australia 2016 tells us that the desire to give strategically to create a long term, financially sustainable giving channel is a key factor. Some philanthropists move from a mostly spontaneous approach to a more planned and structured approach by way of a philanthropic giving vehicle.

The most common legal structure (adopted by 33% of respondents to the Philanthropy and philanthropists survey) was a Private Ancillary Fund (PAF), followed by charitable trusts and sub-funds.

PAFs tended to be established by people who had the resources and the inclination to establish and manage their own fund.

Sub-funds of umbrella organisations such as community foundations were established by people with smaller capital amounts to give or by those who preferred their giving to be part of a collective endeavour. Some opted for both.

Those who use structured giving vehicles thought it made their giving:

  • more strategic
  • sharply focused and with greater impact
  • more financially sustainable, and
  • better planned around personal and/or business needs.

Foundations, trusts and ancillary funds also allowed for control over where money was spent and had potential for tax incentives.

Giving Australia 2016 participants recommend several actions to grow structured giving, such as:

  • reduce the complexity involved in establishing a structured giving vehicle
  • reduce restrictions on where donations can be made (e.g. enable PAFs to gift beyond Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR)1s, inclusive of individuals)
  • establish mechanisms to encourage sharing of administration (back-office)
  • increase awareness and skills among solicitors and financial advisers, and
  • support foundations to leverage the relative freedom they have to take risks with their money

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