Philanthropic Services Annual Review 2012
Growth rings, also known as annual rings, represent a fitting appreciation of not only the Myer Family Company, its heritage and experience, but the lasting legacy that philanthropy leaves on families and society alike.
Message from the Chairman
Another year has passed us by and as I look at the achievements of the Myer Family Companyâ€™s Philanthropic Services team I am once again impressed with the wide array of causes our clients consider most pressing in todayâ€™s society. Our team has successfully navigated a myriad of issues to give purpose and meaning to families who needed assistance with articulating how their passions translate into social action. It is satisfying to see that grants distributed by our clients rose in this period by over 16% â€“ testament to the fact that the sector is growing as more people see the positive impact that philanthropy can have for both the community at large and their own families. As president of The Myer Foundation it was also rewarding to see that the combined grant making of us and the Sidney Myer Fund, two major clients of the Philanthropic Services team, remained constant and this year represented 42% of total grants made.
The Myer Family Company is once again pleased to highlight the work of our Philanthropic Services team and I hope you enjoy reading through these achievements. Martyn Myer AO Chairman, The Myer Family Company President, The Myer Foundation
While it is easy to look at these large numbers and be impressed by the scale and scope of the grant making, our team know only too well the impact of smaller grants. The Philanthropic Services team has put significant work into assisting families achieve their goals based on impact rather than grant size. You will see examples of this throughout the review. The Philanthropic Services team has also been working hard to ensure we have an Australian sector able to grow and thrive. Their work has included advocacy to ensure the retention of privacy of Private Ancillary Funds, multiple submissions relating to the establishment of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and a leadership role in triggering a review of the outdated practices of the traditional trustee companies.
Snapshot of Giving In the 2011/12 financial year Philanthropic Servicesâ€™ client asset base was over $431m. This resulted in over $27m allocated in grants to community organisations. The following graphs depict the areas in which our clients are working. Total grant distribution by focus area
Education 31% Arts Culture & Humanities 18% Poverty & Disadvantage 11% Health, Wellbeing & Medical Research 9% International Development & International Relations 8% Environment 7% Children/Youth at Risk 3% Indigenous Australians 3% Community Development 3% Disability 2% Civil Society 1% CALD Community 1% Housing & Homelessness 1% Employment & Training 1% Animals 1% Philanthropy, Volunteerism & Non-Profit Infrastructure <1% Recreation & Sport <1% Crime, Justice & Legal Issues <1% Religion & Spirituality <1%
Grant making by The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund
Other Philanthropic Services Clients The Myer Foundation & Sidney Myer Fund
$11,592,438 The grant making for The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund is managed by CEO Leonard Vary and his team. As clients of the Philanthropic Services team (Peter Winneke is Company Secretary of the Foundation and Secretary of the Fund) both the Fund and Foundation contribute substantial grants for the benefit of the community. Last year this amounted to over $11.5m being granted in Australia and abroad. $15,449,361 4
For more information on The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund visit www.myerfoundation.org.au
Top ten focus areas by grant distribution
Education Arts Culture & Humanities Poverty & Disadvantage Health, Wellbeing & Medical Research International Development & International Relations Environment Children/Youth at Risk Indigenous Australians Community Development Disability
Top ten focus areas according to numbers of clients granting
Arts Culture & Humanities Poverty & Disadvantage Health, Wellbeing & Medical Research Children/Youth at Risk Education International Development & International Relations Disability Indigenous Australians Environment Community Development
Message from the Team Producing an annual review allows us to sit back, reflect on the work that was done throughout the year, and assess where we have had the most impact in our quest to inspire and promote effective philanthropy. We were thrilled to see a number of our clients make some significant commitments to causes that resonated with their vision and passion. This resulted in an over distribution of the required 5% of net assets for our Private Ancillary Fund clients. However, the average grant size remains a modest amount and we continue to work with our clients to ensure that the focus of grant making is on impact rather than size. Over the year the sector continued to grapple with issues such as ongoing capacity building for organisations and foundations, impact measurement and social investment opportunities and this was no different for our clients. We continued to devise forums which addressed these topics and in particular the social investment events held in both Melbourne and Sydney were highly successful. In bringing together experts in a particular field, as well as those willing to speak publicly about their first hand experience, we remain able to provide unique opportunities for clients to listen, learn and network. While providing grant making research and advice is a core pillar of our service offering we continue to remain a first port of call for philanthropic issues and advice sector-wide. In providing services from initial establishment to development of philanthropic vision and secretariat and ongoing support, as well as research and consultancy our overview of the Australian philanthropic landscape has kept us in demand. We hope you enjoy reading through this snapshot of the 2011/12 year.
Peter Winneke, Head of Philanthropic Services
Nancy Piche, Grants Administrator
Stacey Thomas, Client and Research Manager
Lisa Jacobs, Administrative Support
Client interview No one told us that giving money away could be so challenging We’ve been doing it for most of our lives but when we found ourselves at a stage where the gifts were becoming quite significant, and the ‘asks’ were increasing accordingly, we found ourselves tackling some big questions. Do we continue to give a large number of gifts to those that have asked us? Do we try and scale down the number of gifts and increase these in size? Do we remain relatively anonymous and try to draw as little attention as possible to what we are doing? Our Foundation had been in existence for a number of years but with plans to continue our yearly contributions to the capital, it was growing at a rate that meant we really needed assistance. The Philanthropic Services team were there for us and offered immediate practical support with the logistics of such a large grant program. They then provided us with something that was immeasurably more valuable. Assistance with our vision. The ability to answer those big questions without an assumption that there was a single right answer, rather an answer that was just right for us. Key activities in 2011/12 Continued expansion of the philanthropic sector with new foundations established bringing our total to 75. Continued expansion of our service offering now working with clients in VIC, NSW, ACT, QLD, SA and WA. Successfully tendered for several key research projects (one of which is highlighted on page 8).
The month that we spent with their team considering the questions they asked of us, completing homework that required we confront our own values systems and then as a family unit workshopping all of this on a whiteboard, has taken our Foundation into a new era of giving. We are now comfortable with the grant making that we are doing. We have moved to a more strategic method of giving that better fits with our values as a family. For the time being we have chosen to remain anonymous but know that it will not always remain this way. And we remain grateful to the Philanthropic Services team for helping us get this far, holding our hand along the way, and showing us that there is a natural relationship between our values as a family and vision for our Foundation.
Sector representation on issues including the establishment and operations of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), representation on the Charitable Alliance advocating for traditional trustee company reform in the management of charitable trusts and the Philanthropy and Government Working Group. 7
Research Case Study
The Power of Research Led Funding What if we could research an issue, really get to the crux of what was happening, and present a case so strong, so solid, that one couldnâ€™t do anything other than get on board and support what was happening? In late 2011 The Yulgilbar Foundation commissioned the Philanthropic Services team to conduct a research project in Bendigo, Victoria. With family ties to the area, the Foundation wanted to know what the current community needs were, and how philanthropy may play a role in addressing these. Like any community, Bendigo is one of many facets. There are areas of extreme advantage. And extreme disadvantage. Throughout the course of completing this research piece for the Foundation, the Philanthropic Services team spoke with over 30 community organisations, over 20 other philanthropic trusts geographically funding in Bendigo and scoured through countless statistical documents on regional disadvantage.
While the data and community both paralleled concerns with breaking the cycle of disadvantage and accessing employment and education opportunities the one issue that time and again was raised was that of housing. If secure housing, suitable for low-income families and single people was not available, then it follows that everything else would remain an unsolved community issue.
The issue of affordable housing could have been seen as too big for one foundation to tackle but The Yulgilbar Foundation refused to consider it as a challenge too large and set to work. The result was a commitment from the Foundation of $1m which has been leveraged to attract a further $0.5m in philanthropic funding. With a final $0.5m to be raised through philanthropic circles there are currently negotiations underway with the State Government to match this 2:1 with a commitment of $4m. And what does a total of $6m buy for Bendigo? A community partnership led by local service provider Haven; Home, Safe that will see a 26 unit low-income housing development being completed by the end of 2014, custom designed to suit the social needs of local residents, assisting them to break that cycle of disadvantage and access education and employment opportunities.
Large grant case study Does the desire for measurement, preclude support for essential services? It has been argued that the ongoing trend in philanthropy, to only support things demonstrating outcomes that can be measured, precludes grass-root organisations and needs being supported. One foundation grappling with the desire to understand the substantive change resulting from their grants was the Eureka Benevolent Foundation (EBF). EBF had long supported Kings Cross based Lou’s Place, a day time drop in centre for some of Sydney’s most marginalised and vulnerable women. While EBF believed that their support assisted these women, and that for their clients impact can be measured through seemingly small things such as the confidence to interact with others, or keeping a scheduled appointment, they were unsure how this could be measured. Similarly, Lou’s Place knew through the multitude of women they assisted each day that their services were making a difference. But due to the sometimes transient nature of the women, and their varied and complex needs, what was a successful outcome for one would not necessarily be considered so for another. Despite the difficulties associated with attempting to measure these outcomes, Lou’s Place faced the challenge head-on. They knew that to develop a way to measure the outcomes of
their work would not only enable them to better service their clients, but also assist in articulating their programs to funders such as EBF. Working closely with the Directors of EBF and the Myer Family Company Philanthropic Services team around reporting requirements, Lou’s Place were able to identify two areas where impact could be measured on a one-on-one, client needs basis. Looking at relative scales of quality of life and independence, Lou’s Place were able to develop tools that could not only measure, but track, a client’s progress upon entering Lou’s Place services. Lou’s Place Executive Manager, Deborah Banks said, ‘We were always very conscious of how we tracked success for our clients. Having the added support of EBF to articulate not only what success meant, but how we could measure it, allowed us to develop two really useful tools to assist both the women we work with, and the organisation more broadly. It’s made a big difference to how we deliver our services.’ Lou’s Place is a fantastic example of an organisation whose work is often referred to as ‘unmeasurable’ due to its welfare base and diverse client needs. They have demonstrated, without changing the essential services that they offer, that measurement is not something that can’t be done, it just takes good support and understanding of what success means.
Small grant case study Cultural experiences shaping the next generation As the theatre lights go down, his sense of anticipation grows. The actors take to the stage, their voices reverberate around the auditorium and he is transported to another world. A world where anything is possible. Experiencing the joy and wonder of live performance for the first time is something special. It inspires and opens young minds like nothing else. Unfortunately, due to distance or circumstance, not all young Victorians have the opportunity to enjoy such moments. Arts Centre Melbourne believes in the power of the performing arts to transform lives, and is committed to ensuring as many young people as possible have the opportunity to be inspired by being involved in live arts, regardless of their personal situation.
In 2008, with the assistance of some key philanthropists, the First Call Fund was established. The Fund subsidises the ticket price of Arts Centre Melbourne events for Victorian primary and secondary students and young people who face barriers such as disadvantage, distance or special circumstances. The Duggan Family Foundation continues to support the First Call Fund so that other children have the same opportunity to access the arts as their own family have been privileged with. Melissa Duggan speaks of their involvement, ‘There are so many causes that one can support but Art Centre Melbourne’s First Call Fund has always been close to our family’s heart. For a relatively modest grant of $2,500 we know that around 200 children will be able to attend performances that they otherwise may not have made it to. These seemingly simple life experiences shape young people’s views of the world and can really have a lasting impact. For us, it was a simple decision.’
A big thank you Once again the Philanthropic Services team would like to offer a big thank you to the community organisations we work with, whose work continues to inspire us to grow the philanthropic sector in Australia, so that we have a fair and just society in which everyone can prosper.