This page is designed to help organisations submit the best possible application to Perpetual’s IMPACT Philanthropy Application Program (IPAP) – and in doing so, increase their chances of gaining valuable funding they can use in the service of their communities.
About the IPAP funding process
Perpetual is one of the largest managers of philanthropic funds in Australia. Our commitment to philanthropy dates back to the 1890s when we became trustee of one of Australia’s first charitable trusts. Since then, we have helped some of Australia’s most generous individuals and families to create a lasting difference in the world by setting up a charitable trust or endowment. We distribute around $100 million to not-for-profit (NFP) organisations each year and around a quarter of this is granted through our IMPACT Philanthropy Application Program.
To help our clients make strategic and considered decisions regarding how they gift from their charitable trust or endowment, Perpetual has developed a best-practice grant making process. As trustee, Perpetual also uses this process to make well-governed granting decisions from charitable trusts and endowments where the donor is no longer living. Since 2002 IPAP has become one of the largest programs of its kind in Australia, receiving over 1,500 applications every year from NFP organisations working across all sectors in Australia and internationally.
How IPAP operates
The annual IPAP funding round opens at the end of October and closes in early December. State based charities can submit one application. National and international charities can submit up to three (in different states / countries). Universities, hospitals and medical research institutes can submit one application per department up to a maximum of three applications – read the application guidelines on our IMPACT Funding page before submitting your application.
The assessment process largely focuses on the organisation, as we believe well governed charitable organisations will deliver optimal outcomes for the community. We believe programming, project strategy and decision-making processes are the domain of organisations themselves. They know how best to achieve their goals, progress toward mission and ultimately create the social, environmental and cultural impact they are committed to.
Many of the individuals and family clients we work with use the IPAP funding round to help them find well-governed charitable organisations in the areas they are passionate about. The process gives them the ability to support a specific project that is meaningful to them. It means they receive reporting, via an interim and final acquittal, on the positive impacts they’ve helped achieve in the community.
The Four Pillar assessment process
Perpetual focuses on four pillars when assessing the governance of organisations: strategy, leadership, capability and outcomes. The assessable questions within the application form are focused on these pillars.
When we talk about strategy, we’re looking for organisations that can speak to their mission, understand how effective they are and how they're performing against their mission.
When assessing leadership, we’re looking for organisations that have an awareness of their external environment and have a willingness to learn and collaborate with other organisations pursuing similar goals.
When capability is assessed, we’re looking for organisations that understand what a sustainable business model looks like to them and how this is measured.
When we ask about outcomes, we’re looking for organisations that can demonstrate evidence of success that’s measurable, realistic and can provide our clients with a clear picture of the long-term impact of funding.
The key questions – and how to answer them
At Perpetual, we want to help well-run, effective organisations access funding and better serve their communities. Below are some of the key assessable questions in the application process, including which pillar they come under, where you might find the information to answer those questions and how to fill in the application to best demonstrate your organisation’s strengths.
List between three and ﬁve KPIs your organisation uses to measure the eﬃcient use of its resources and demonstrate how your organisation is performing against them.
Application questions: 1.8 and 1.9
Pillar alignment: Capability
Why we ask this: Philanthropists, like all donors, want to know that your organisation is making good use of its resources and tracking and reporting on efficient resource utilisation to ensure maximum impact.
What we’re expecting in the response: That you have specific targets set to ensure efficient use of all resources, including financial, human, time, technology and operations and that you are monitoring and reporting on how the organisation is tracking towards achieving these targets.
Where you might find the relevant information: Your financial reports, HR reports, volunteer updates.
Who to ask: CEO, CFO, Volunteer Director/Manager.
List between three and ﬁve KPIs your organisation uses to measure how eﬀective it is at achieving its mission and demonstrate how your organisation is performing against them.
Application questions: 1.10 and 1.11
Pillar alignment: Strategy
Why we ask this: Organisations that achieve impact closely monitor their programs and projects, adjust and update them and are continuously learning and improving. The only way to know an organisation is engaged in this process is if they set effectiveness targets and regularly report on them.
What we’re expecting in the response: That your organisation’s strategy is clearly aligned with its mission and that progress toward strategy is being regularly measured and reported on. This question is essentially asking ‘How do you know if your projects are leading to the outcomes you expect, and are these outcomes strategically progressing your mission?’
Where you might find the relevant information: Strategy documents, program logic and Monitoring and Evaluation frameworks. Tracking and monitoring data should be reported on in internal program and organisational reports.
Who to ask: CEO or Programs Director/Manager.
Application question: 1.12
Pillar alignment: Leadership
Why we ask this: A strong and stable organisation understands the external environment in which it operates and recognises opportunities and external threats.
What we’re expecting in the response: That your organisation understands the factors outside the organisation that can affect its ability to achieve outcomes and pursue mission. Demonstrate a broad ranging understanding of external threats, outside just the funding context. Use a PESTLE analysis as a guide – external factors normally fit into one of the following categories: Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal or Environmental.
Where you might find the relevant information: Program logic (assumptions), Board reports, publicly available data collected by other agencies.
Who to ask: CEO, CFO, Programs Director, HR Director.
Application question: 1.13
Pillar alignment: Capability
Why we ask this: Philanthropists want to invest in organisations that are governed for stability and sustainability. They want to invest in organisations that will be around in the future to continue to create impact and pursue mission.
What we’re expecting in the response: That your organisation has a good understanding of the wide range of risks relevant to it and its work and is actively working to mitigate and manage these risks.
Where you might find the relevant information: Board reports, risk registers.
Who to ask: CEO, CFO, COO, Board of Directors.
Application question: 2.8
Pillar alignment: Outcomes
Why we ask this: In order to assess the value of the work an organisation is doing, philanthropists and donors need to understand the outcomes (or impact) that the work is having. Activity or service delivery information is only useful if used to narrate the path to the outcomes and impact an organisation is pursuing.
What we’re expecting in the response: That an organisation not only understands the ultimate outcomes and impact of the work it is doing, but that it is measuring progress toward these goals and is engaged in continuous learning and improvement. Without this monitoring, evaluation and learning cycle, it’s difficult to assess the effectiveness of a project, program, intervention or service.
Where you might find the relevant information: Program logic / theory of change, Monitoring and Evaluation frameworks.
Who to ask: CEO, Programs Director.
Donors need to know that organisations are complying with all the requirements of a charity and are not at risk of losing Deductible Gift Recipient/Charity status or going into administration. Perpetual checks the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission compliance decision list for non-compliance. Organisations on this list will have their applications marked as ineligible as part of our assessment process.
Perpetual has a responsibility to our clients to ensure they are investing in organisations that will meet the acquittal and reporting requirements of the grant and checks that all prior grants administered by Perpetual have been acquitted and reported against.
What NFPs need to do now
Ultimately, Perpetual is working on behalf of its philanthropy clients to find great organisations that have a clear mission and goals and a realistic and reportable strategy to achieve them. We are looking for well-governed, well-led organisations that are committed to regularly monitoring their work, tracking progress and learning from both successes and challenges to create the impact they are dedicated to. Organisations that can demonstrate commitment to these areas are those that Perpetual will recommend for philanthropic investment.
How to submit your application
For additional tools, resources and detailed application guidelines visit our IMPACT Funding page
Annual IPAP funding timings
|End October – Early December||
Submit your applications
|December – February||
Eligibility checking and assessment completed
Low ranking applicants notified
|March – May||
Perpetual meets with clients to discuss shortlisted applications that align with their focus
Perpetual matches applications with trusts where Perpetual has funding discretion
Fiduciary review approval finalised