Donate now

Philanthropy - Best Practice

The Menzies Foundation is committed to developing a best practice approach to their philanthropic work and to supporting better practice in the sector. The Foundation is involved in a number of initiatives to support this work.


Philanthropy - Towards Better Practice Report

The Philanthropy: Towards a Better Practice Model report, released in May 2018 by the Asia Pacific Social Impact Centre, authored by Menzies Foundation CEO, Liz Gillies, Dr Jodie York, Melbourne Business School and Dr Joanna Minkiewicz, Deakin University revealed philanthropy as an important catalyst for social change and plays a pivotal and instrumental role in supporting communities and ameliorating disadvantage.

Key findings suggests optimism about the future of philanthropy in Australia and a genuine desire to continue to develop best practice approaches to social impact by both grant makers and grant seekers. All those interviewed were united in their commitment to address serious social problems and work collaboratively to support social change. However, findings revealed a disconnect between Australian grant seeker and grant maker perceptions around these issues, with philanthropists having a far more favourable view of the state of practices and relationships in the sector than their not-for profit (NFP) counterparts. 


Authentic Philanthropic Relationships - Best Practice

During March and April 2019, CEO Liz Gillies in partnership with Philanthropy Australia, undertook a national road show engaging with a broad cross section of philanthropy and not-for-profits leaders in stimulating conversations focused on more authentic relationships and better practice models for social change. See the presentation pack here

PIPP - Philanthropic Impact Pioneers Program

"If you are a philanthropist, it's in everybody's best interest to tell you that you're doing a great job", says Menzies Foundation CEO, Liz Gillies. The gap between perception and performance when it comes to philanthropic impact can tell a different story. Ten Australian foundations have signed on to a newly launched program that will help them take an unflinching look at the difference they're making. - Philanthropic Impact Pioneers Program.

Building from the conclusions of the Philanthropy: Towards Better Practice Report and anchored by the Menzies Foundation, the PIPP – Philanthropic Impact Pioneers Program aims to support the development of social impact frameworks to support philanthropy to better understand impact.     

The Consortium was officially launched in November 2018, by Sarah Davies, Philanthropy Australia CEO, and included an expert panel discussion on ‘Philanthropic leadership – what does it take to make a difference?’ A strong theme of this discussion was the importance of both individual and organizational leadership and the leadership attributes that are an essential element of the work.

The Consortium is made up of the following ten members: 

  • Menzies Foundation
  • Ten20 Foundation
  • Jack Brockhoff Foundation
  • Anonymous
  • Colonial Foundation
  • Besen Family Foundation
  • Australia Post
  • Fay Fuller Foundation
  • Equity Trustees
  • Australian Communities Foundation

The program will focus on four parallel learning streams:

  • Learning for the Sector – we’ll share the learning and insights from our journey with the philanthropic sector to promote better practice and a sector wide conversation.
  • Individual empowerment – as individuals you will embark on a journey to strengthen your own personal leadership capacity as a leader in philanthropy.
  • The Big Questions – Analysis of these case studies will surface key challenges and issues which will be explored in the cohort – leveraging both national and international expertise to facilitated these conversations
  • Each Organisation’s Philanthropic Social Impact Framework – each member organisation will codify their journey for impact. This facilitated conversation will clarify where you are now, what the gaps are and what steps you need to take to move towards a social impact framework for your organisation. Creating a baseline for Year 1, identifying the questions that you should focus on and monitor your progress over the three years of the program

The inaugural PIPP workshop took place in November 2018. At this workshop Consortium members confirmed their aspirations for the work and developed a set of values within which the work will take place. In addition, members considered the insights from a series of pre-Consortium interviews undertaken by the academic lead on the project, Dr Jodi York, which highlighted the value and importance of strategic clarity and the opportunities, challenges and barriers in undertaking this journey.

The work of the Consortium will be supported by Australian and global experts who will support members to develop their individualized Theories of Philanthropy and build the platform to share the insights and learnings from this work across the Consortium and with the community more broadly.

A key feature of the first workshop was Kate McKegg’s, CEO, Knowledge Institute, excellent presentation on International Perspectives for Philanthropic Impact.

The PIPP came together in April 2019 and focused on the development of social impact frameworks and evaluative approaches in complexity and adaption. International guests included Kate McKegg, Knowledge Institute and Mark Cabaj, Here to There Consulting and the Developmental Evaluation Institute.