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Philanthropy Talk at 10 August 2018 Annual Dinner

posted Aug 12, 2018, 10:05 PM by Saint Patricks
What is Philanthropy Talk by Gavan Woinarski?
Quite simply, philanthropy is the love of humankind. It involves the giving of time, information, services and money to improve the wellbeing of humanity and the community. Therefore, if people are described as philanthropic it says something about their character and Values, more than their wealth.
Philanthropy’s best advocate is your voice and its most potent partner is leadership. Money is the third element. People’s advocacy and commitment combine to form leadership; donations will follow. People often use philanthropy and fundraising as synonyms,; they are not. Fundraising is transactional and philanthropy is relational. Philanthropy responds to a Vision, fundraising to a cause.Philanthropy is so often associated with money. However, giving money is generous but not always philanthropic. The most important element is your voice. Lending your voice shows commitment and its unwavering and resolute consistency is part of leadership.
To illustrate the importance of someone’s voice try and think about some contemporary household names that we might nominate as outstanding Australian philanthropists. I suspect recent wealthy men who have made large donations will come to mind. this may be the case but I propose a different way of thinking for your consideration. One, who must remain anonymous, has invested many millions and countless hours developing then establishing a unit at the University of Melbourne devoted to positive psychology. All undergraduates now study this unit and the expressed intent is to ensure young people learn about and appreciate the benefits of being positive. What a remarkable legacy to initiate.The benefits for mankind will be untold. There is very little public recognition for the donor but enormous pride and gratitude in achieving something unique. However, in my view it is still the voice that stands out compared to those who have pledged a lot of money. I propose for your consideration that Australia’s most successful philanthropist in the last couple of years has no money and has little capacity to make large donations. Her name is Rosie Batty. She lent her voice and her voice has promoted profound changes in our nation. Australians now talk about family violence and the need to eradicate it. As a result of her voice government policies have changed, agencies’ behaviours are changing and the allocation of resources (money) has increased. Her voice has been more powerful than a large cheque. So if the voice is such an important part of philanthropy then the highest priority for an organisation wanting to develop a culture of philanthropy is to engage people. Connect and inspire might be a suitable motto.
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