Articles on Philanthropy

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Volunteers clean up after Hurricane Sandy. jim.henderson

Why money is an impoverished metric of generosity

There are few things Americans like more than lists and money, but ranking philanthropists on the monetary size of their giving distorts our understanding of generosity, argues one ethicist.
Bangarra Dance Theatre has been very successful at building relationships with donors. AAP/Bangarra Dance Theatre, Edward Mulvihill

Where to next for arts philanthropy in Australia?

From crowdfunding to giving circles, the arts philanthropy landscape is rapidly changing. But could governments be doing more to emulate overseas policies that foster a culture of giving?
Australia is becoming more unequal. And Australia’s wealthiest people don’t seem to want to do anything about it. AAP/Joel Carrett

Australia’s rich give little – and a culture of secrecy surrounds their philanthropy

There is a view that philanthropy from super-wealthy individuals, rather than government policy, will be the force that changes the world for the better. But this seems unlikely in Australia.
Through the Gordon Darling Foundation, the Darlings undertook a vast range of activities in keeping with their vision for the arts in Australia. Gordon Darling handing over a portrait of Sir Donald Bradman AC to Andrew Sayers, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, in 2008. AAP Image/National Portrait Gallery

The late Gordon Darling and the gentle art of philanthropy

The death of Gordon Darling last month reminded many in the arts community of the key role that he played in fostering the visual arts in Australia. But should his contribution have been more widely noted?
Is Bill Gates’ desire to help tackle the world’s problems compatible with his foundation’s huge fossil fuel investments? EPA/Cole Burston

Can the Gates Foundation be convinced to dump fossil fuels?

The Gates Foundation is being urged to dump its sizeable fossil fuel assets. Bill Gates cares deeply about world health and development, both of which are affected by climate, but will his charity divest?
Debate over WA Opera’s production of Carmen reveals some faultlines in corporate arts sponsorship. Photo: Opera Australia dress rehearsal. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Carmen sense: when corporate sponsors go to the opera

One of the loopier actions of the eccentric Roman Emperor Elagabalus (inventor of the whoopee cushion) was an edict calling for all sex scenes in imperial theatres to be performed live and not simulated…
The Sydney Biennale boycott campaign has raised important – and difficult – questions about how we fund the arts. Wexner Centre

Is there any clean money left to fund the arts?

In the wake of the Sydney Biennale’s split from its major sponsor Transfield in recent days, certain uncomfortable questions are again floating very close to the surface. In the late 1990s, I had a successful…
Should artists refuse to work with the Sydney Biennale – whose major sponsor has contracts to operate offshore detention centres? AAP Image/Caris Bizzaca

Should artists boycott the Sydney Biennale over Transfield links?

Sydney will host its 19th biennale from March 21. It’s one of the most significant international art events on the local calendar. But questions have arisen over its connection to Australia’s policy of…
Will philanthropy in Australia change because of the recent donation by Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest to Wes Australian universities. Seed image from www.shutterstock.com

Of Forrests and acorns: philanthropic gift may seed other university giving

This week’s A$65 million pledge by Nicola and Andrew Forrest to all five West Australian universities alters the philanthropy landscape in Australia. The Forrests’ donation comes less than a year after…
Being charitable should be part of what children are taught at home and at school. Gift image from www.shutterstock.com

Giving the gift of giving: why children should be taught philanthropy

“Philanthropy” is usually a word we associate with the world of adults and rich people. Increasingly though, children from a spread of socio-economic backgrounds are participating in and learning about…
Highly publicised private benefactors are redefining philanthropy in Australia, so now is the time for a discussion on how this wealth can best be harnessed.

Philanthropy in Australia: it’s what you do with it that counts

The recent commitment by Fortescue Metals chief Andrew Forrest to contribute half of his private wealth to philanthropic causes, coming on top of investor Graham Tuckwell’s $50 million donation for equity…
George Soros speaks at the London School of Economics in 2009. EPA/Andy Rain

Open sesame: George Soros and the foundations for change

This week, octogenarian billionaire and well-known philanthropist George Soros will convene a global meeting of the advisory boards of his Open Society Foundation to discuss global poverty, health, climate…

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