Annual report 2018
This year I am very pleased to acknowledge that the Bennelong Foundation has been in the business of philanthropy and caring for nearly 20 years. In saying that I recognise that 20 years ago that sentence – “the business of philanthropy and caring” – would have been considered a non-sequitur, as the concept of business was as far removed from the concept of philanthropy and caring as possible.
Over the intervening time, however, the not-for-profit sector of commercial enterprise in Australia has grown significantly. Whereas 20 years ago they were unknown, now the terms “social enterprise” and “impact investing” and others are regularly used in normal commercial circumstances to denote work that aims to recoup a social and community “profit” as well as a modest re-investable economic benefit.
In that context, I am delighted that the Board of Directors of the Bennelong Foundation has always considered the Foundation to have responsibilities and obligations over and above the making of grants to worthy not-for-profits, such as:
• Sharing the lessons and learnings of our journey of 17 years with those starting the discovery of their philanthropic interests in the hope that the sharing of this information will encourage more to participate and, having decided to participate, make the road a smoother one for those philanthropic travellers.
• Supporting at every level the not-for-profit and social enterprise sectors of the Australian economy. This has been accomplished on a direct business-to-business basis where all parties have gained from the support given to the social enterprise and the learnings associated with that support.
• Importing of international concepts, nuances and practices in the philanthropic area that will keep the industry in Australia energised and fully informed.
In considering all of the above, it is with great pleasure that we have devoted a significant portion of this year’s Annual Report to “The Business of Philanthropy and Caring” in the expectation that others can be attracted to support it and participate in it.
This is not to underplay in any way the importance and the excellence involved in our normal granting programme and in mentioning this I wish to pay a huge vote of thanks to the Board of Directors and Advisers of the Bennelong Foundation and its management team, to the wider Bangarra and Bennelong Groups for their enthusiastic acceptance of the principals of caring and to the communities with which we work for their dedication seeking better outcomes for all concerned.