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Australian Philanthropy’s response to the COVID-19 Crisis

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The Australian philanthropic sector has committed to acting with urgency and purpose to support the Australian community through COVID-19, with the release of a new public statement from Philanthropy Australia.

The Snow Foundation, The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund, and Macquarie Group Foundation, have joined with fifteen other Australian Trusts, Foundations and philanthropic funders as initial signatories to Australian Philanthropy’s Response to the COVID-19 Crisis. This number is expected to grow in the coming days and weeks.

The statement recognises the need for the Australian philanthropic community to take decisive, principled action to support grantees and partners who are dealing with the evolving challenges of the coronavirus.

By signing on to the statement, Australian philanthropic funders have signalled they will adapt eleven key principles within their own funding context to support grantees and partners through this uncertain and challenging time.

Philanthropy Australia CEO, Sarah Davies, said the statement reflects philanthropy’s critical role in supporting the not-for-profit sector and broader community through the unparalleled health and economic crisis.

“The economic realities of COVID-19 are threatening the existence of not-for-profit organisations and charities from all different corners of the sector,” Davies said.

The not-for-profit sector provides fundamental support and services to millions of Australians, and the work they do is essential to our collective health and wellbeing.

“There has never been a more significant time for the philanthropic sector to step up and forward together, to support our grantees and our partners to continue to operate, deliver services and sustain our communities as we work through these challenges together,” she said.

Philanthropy Australia Co-Chairs Amanda Miller and Ann Johnson said the public statement provides a robust framework for funders during these difficult times.

“Philanthropy finds itself confronting an unprecedented challenge during this health crisis. It demands a compassionate and strategic response that enables the organisations we support to continue their vital work,” Miller and Johnson said.

This statement provides a framework for action and a clear direction that these philanthropy organisations believe responds to the urgency of the situation the world faces today.

“There has never been a more important time for philanthropy to unite in a collective response that gives certainty and flexibility to organisations who are struggling to deal with the crisis,” Miller and Johnson said.

“We know that only by providing a range of ways to support these organisations now will they be there on the other side of the crisis when they will become integral to rebuilding so many of our communities,” the said.

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Pearl Dy is a community manager and journalist. She is passionate about business and development particularly involving not-for-profits, charity and social entrepreneurship.


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