Impact 100 WA

Australia








The members of Impact 100 WA envision changing the course of philanthropy through the power of collecting giving in Australia.

The beginning of the first Impact 100 giving circle in Australia can be traced to a dinner conversation that James Boyd, a management consultant in Australian arts and culture had with his wife and guests where they wondered about whether a small group of committed individuals could achieve more in philanthropy by working together. Intrigued by the idea, James followed up with research as well as interviews with 15 founders of giving circles in United States.

He was particularly taken by the Impact 100 model as he felt the simple proposition of 100 people donating $1,000 each — was powerful and worked well for both the giving circle and the non-profits. The donation, if could be made with tax deductibility, ‘was at a level that was accessible and would catch people’s attention.’ AUS$1,000 (US$900) is an affordable entry fee for individuals and families and the costs of administrating 100 donors are reasonable. The grantees receive a relatively large grant (AU$100,000) with little administrative burden.

Back in Australia, he shared his experiences of Impact 100 to Sophie Chamberlain and Simon Bedbrook who had a good feel for the potential of benefits of people coming together in a giving circle to support organisations in their local community. The two friends, Sophie and Simon, who come from families with a strong history of philanthropy went on to form Impact 100 Western Australia (WA) in late 2011.

From the start, Impact 100 WA worked in partnership with the Australian Communities Foundation, a Melbourne-based non-profit philanthropy intermediary that provided the giving circle members with regulatory tax deductibility and associated back office support. James and the founders saw such an arrangement as perfect for a giving circle that relies on voluntary labour, rather than executive staff, while making the most of tax relief.  The giving circle commits all of the member’s donation going directly to the selected non-profit, with grant administration costs being met by committee members or through special donations. The administrative costs are estimated at around 3 percent, a figure kept low by the volunteer labour and in kind gifts. 

The mission of Impact 100 WA is to provide high-impact grants that reach under-served WA populations, raise the profile of deserving but lesser known WA based not-for-profit organisations, highlight unmet needs in the region and increase involvement in philanthropy across Australia[1]. The first grant in 2012 was given to Manna Inc Winter School Uniform Program to provide 1,000 winter school kit uniforms (including one winter tracksuit with their school emblem, one padded rainproof jacket, a pair of running shoes and two pairs of socks) to disadvantaged primary school kids. The program achieved behavioural and attendance improvements as the disadvantaged children then had uniforms that looked like all the other students and they could blend in1.

Since that first grant, Impact 100 WA has made tremendous strides. It has grown to 159 members (as of end 2015). At least 14 WA charities have received more than AU$595,000 grants since 20121. Significantly, it has also catalysed the formation of other Impact 100 chapters in Australia. There are now five other Impact 100 giving circles in Fremantle, Melbourne, South Australia, Sydney and Sydney North. A seventh group is forming in Hobart, Tasmania.

With the growth of giving circles and collective philanthropy in Australia, Impact 100 WA is also setting its new goal. It hopes to grow its membership base to 1,000 members that can donate $1 million each year into the community.

 

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