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Challenges to philanthropy – a story for AEGN

18 May 2020

Ross Trust CEO, Sarah Hardy, and Program Manager, Rebecca Chew, were recently asked to share their thoughts about the acute funding challenges 2020 has presented to philanthropy, for a piece on the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network (AEGN) website.

In addition to the challenges, Sarah said there was also an opportunity for the philanthropic sector to collaborate and find a collective voice to advocate strongly for those who need it most. 

Speaking about the impact of fires and COVID-19, Sarah said “Most of our grantees already work with the most vulnerable cohorts of people and therefore the financial and social impacts have hit harder and faster.

“A blended approach of support is needed: the first part is about capacity for these organisations to maintain their staff to deliver support services; the second is providing funds they can release to vulnerable people. Not all philanthropic trusts have that in their mandate but we’re fortunate enough to be able to do it and help these people support their family and maintain their housing.

“We certainly haven’t seen the true impact yet – it’s just starting to come through in the conversations I’m having now, with many organisations worried about surviving through to 2021,” Sarah said.

Speaking specifically about environmental grantees, Rebecca said “The bushfire recovery period is not fully known yet because of the extent of the fire damage and we’re hearing forecasts about what repeat burns and climate change adds to that in the longer term, which is also quite significant.”

To read more of the story, visit the AEGN website.