Perpetual’s 2020 Australian Philanthropy Insights Report

Perpetual Philanthropy

Perpetual Private Insights

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Each year, Perpetual gives not-for-profit (NFP) organisations the opportunity to apply for funding through our IMPACT Philanthropy Application Program (IPAP). In the 2020 financial year, thanks to the generosity of our clients, we committed $24.4 million in client funds to be distributed via this process.

In FY20, Perpetual clients distributed more than $110 million to the charitable sector.

The IPAP process does more than support high quality NFPs with additional funding. It gives Perpetual a lens into the issues affecting NFPs in Australia – the challenges and opportunities, the funding trends and the operational issues they face – ranging from staffing to fundraising and much more.

We’ve pulled all this data – plus in-depth insights from our philanthropy team – into our 2020 Australian Philanthropy Insights Report.

The report covers a wide cross-section of operational and strategic issues – here are some highlights.


In the report, we look at NFP funding and what influence the pandemic and its aftermath might have on NFPs preferred fundraising channels.

Flow of funds

Over the years we have found that philanthropic funding tends to be influenced by the issues that are heavily debated in civil society and the wider community. In 2020, distributions were dominated by three big sectors – as you can see in the infographic below. (Note the IPAP data was collected from October to December 2019).

“Health and Social Welfare were a strong focus last year,” says Lindsay Dawson, Perpetual’s Philanthropy Research & Insights Manager. “Given that the big issues of 2020 – bushfires and the pandemic – will have ramifications for years to come, we may see more funding support flow to NFPs that work in the environment sector and in medical research next year.”

Distributions by sector in 2020

Philanthropy Icons

Of SDGs and NFPs

As part of its IPAP data analysis Perpetual now reports on how NFPs – and their programs – are aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Find out more about that alignment – and why SDGs matter.

2021 challenges

Perpetual’s 2020 Australian Philanthropy Insights Report also looks at some of the big issues likely to dominate NFP agendas in 2021. We look at issues around technology, tightening of funding, the need for NFPs to restructure and refocus and the importance of philanthropy that puts trust in NFPs working at the frontline.



Are you thinking about setting up your own philanthropic structure? Do you need access to great projects and organisations to support? Contact our philanthropy team.

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Perpetual Private advice and services are provided by Perpetual Trustee Company Limited (PTCo), ABN 42 000 001 007, AFSL 236643. This publication has been prepared by PTCo and may contain information contributed by third parties. It contains general information only and is not intended to provide you with advice or take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. The information is believed to be accurate at the time of compilation and is provided by PTCo in good faith. You should consider whether the information is suitable for your circumstances and we recommend that you seek professional advice. To the extent permitted by law, no liability is accepted for any loss or damage as a result of any reliance on this information. PTCo does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any wording in this document which was contributed by a third party. Any views expressed in this document are opinions of the author at the time of writing and do not constitute a recommendation to act. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.