In 1998, the Perpetual Foundation was established to amplify the generosity of Australia’s key donors by combining their resources with Perpetual’s expertise in managing charitable funds.
The Foundation, which is a public ancillary fund, was established with approximately $380,683 in funds. These initial donors were able to utilise the simplicity of an endowment structure that didn’t require them to establish their own foundation.
After a slow start the fund soon accelerated, and by 2012 it reached its first major milestone of $100 million. The pace then quickened and over the next 5 years it grew to $200 million, in 2017.
Today, twenty years later, the Perpetual Foundation has reached over $260 million; made up of some 247 separate donor endowments.
As the Foundation grows, so too do the number and size of grants made from endowments. In 2016, on behalf of our clients, the Foundation disbursed almost $7 million, and in 2018 this had increased to more than $10 million.
Within the Foundation, Perpetual itself setup an endowment. The Perpetual Trustees Endowment was established under Managing Director of the time, Graham Bradley. It has now reached over $3.2 million and has made considerable impact on the community over the years. Grants have been focused on building capacity within the NFP sector and have supported governance courses for NFP board Directors, key research pieces into the NFP sector as well as impact investing initiatives.
Sifting through historical data we found some more insights that might be of interest:
- May/June are the months when most new endowments are set up (in the lead-up to tax-time).
- June is when we see clients make more donations into their existing endowments.
- The geographic distribution of grants varies from year to year, but in 2018, 40 per cent went to NSW.
We pause to celebrate this important milestone, but we don’t slow our hard work in supporting Australia’s charitable community. We want to ensure the next twenty years are even stronger!