Philanthropy that works

Charitable giving means you can use your money to make a positive impact on the world.

Strategic philanthropy means you can have a more significant impact with your giving. Ensure that every single dollar you donate – now, next year, even after you’re gone – helps support the people, causes and communities you care about.

How do you do that?

  • By knowing the organisations you support not only align with your values but are effectively governed and exceptionally led.
  • That the charitable structure you use reflects the size, timing, purpose, and origin (individual, family, company) of your giving.
  • That your relationship with the organisations you support works for them and for you – through involvement, communication, tax-effectiveness and more.

At Perpetual, we’ve been working with philanthropists and charities since we were founded in 1886. We can help you:

  • Develop a philanthropy strategy that suits your needs and supports the impact you’d like to have.
  • Find causes, charities and programs that match your values and passions.
  • Structure your tax-effective giving.
  • Set up a charitable trust.
  • Ensure your trust gives in perpetuity by helping you grow the value of your donation over time.
  • Leave a legacy through your will.


CLIENT Stories

The following stories highlight how individuals and families have used philanthropy to make a difference

Where are you on your journey?

  • Managing wealth

    • Strategic financial advice
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    • Family office
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    Exceptional financial advice to protect and grow your wealth. That’s our enduring commitment to you backed by an investment philosophy that has stood the test of time.


    • Superannuation & pension management
    • Power of attorney & Lifestyle assistance
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    A post-work paradise takes careful planning. We can help you to structure your finances effectively and create an investment portfolio that protects your wealth without jeopardising your lifestyle.


    • Charitable giving & philanthropy
    • Trust setup & management
    • Wills, estate planning & executorial services
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    From the creation of your estate plan through to tax-effective giving structures, our team can help you to create a legacy for the people and causes closest to your heart.


There is no one, right way to give. What matters is that you make informed, thoughtful decisions so your giving has the most impact. And that you enjoy and learn from the experience of being a philanthropist.

Finding your focus

Perhaps the first, but often overlooked question is – why do you want to give?  Being clear on why you want to give will create a better sense of how to give – and to whom.

Once you’ve clarified your motivations you can move onto identifying the issues and organisations you want to support. This should involve a wide range of research – about the focus, quality, structure, management and effectiveness of the NFP or charity. This sort of deep research is what Perpetual specialises in – and where we can really help.

Remember, there’s many ways you can help make the world a better place. Supporting organisations and programs that help people is one, more traditional, way. You can also invest your philanthropy dollars in ‘systems change’. This article has more on how philanthropy can change the systems we live within.

How do you want to live your philanthropy?

Some philanthropists organise their philanthropy into cycles – build a three or five-year giving plan and use that time to test how their philanthropy ‘works’. They then revisit and adapt their plan. Perpetual often works with clients to calibrate this cycle, tuning it to their financial position, the results of their giving – and their enjoyment of the process.

Giving through your will

Some people like to see the impact of their philanthropy during their lifetime while others prefer to leave a legacy through their will. This article has more on the different charitable bequest options available. Whatever your preference, as both financial advisers and philanthropy specialists Perpetual can help you plan your giving in a way that delivers the most benefit.

You may also be interested in Passing on wealth.

At Perpetual, we can help you calculate a ‘philanthropy budget’ so you can integrate your philanthropic goals into your broader financial planning. Then we help you identify the structure that best suits your personal, financial and philanthropic objectives.

For many people, the key to tax-effective giving – and giving with impact – lies in a charitable trust structure. There are some variants – but the principle is the same.

  • You deposit some capital within a trust structure.
  • That capital is invested (with certain tax advantages) with the aim of growing over time.
  • A regular distribution is paid from the trust towards the organisations, causes and communities you care about.
  • The trust structure is perpetual, meaning your capital can grow (and distribute) over a long period – and continue to operate even after you pass away.

Choosing the Best Structure for You

Private Ancillary Funds

A Private Ancillary Fund is your own charitable foundation. Your funds are invested and your foundation distributes to charities or causes of your choice.



  • You choose the beneficiary organisations (or ask Perpetual for advice) and can be involved in the administration of the foundation.
  • Your donations are generally tax-deductible.
  • You can give for generations – these trusts can exist in perpetuity.
  • You can involve your family or friends.

Perpetual Foundation Endowments

Perpetual runs a Public Ancillary fund called the Perpetual Foundation. Your donation creates an endowment within the Perpetual Foundation. The Foundation funds are invested and distributions paid to organisations you recommend.



  • Simple and effective – Perpetual manages all administration.
  • You can recommend organisations (or ask Perpetual for advice).
  • Your donations are generally tax-deductible.
  • You can give for generations – these endowments can exist in perpetuity.
  • You can name the endowment after your family, your business or to honour a loved one.

Download our brochure on Perpetual Foundation Endowments.

If you have an existing Perpetual Foundation endowment and would like to update your preferred grant recipient/s, please download the Perpetual Grant Recommendation form. 

View an example legal clause that can be inserted into your will to enable the establishment of a Perpetual Foundation endowment.

Perpetual Philanthropic Services and advice
Perpetual Philanthropic Services and advice are provided by Perpetual Trustee Company Limited (PTCo) ABN 42 000 001 007 AFSL 236643. PTCo is the trustee for the Perpetual Foundation - Endowment Fund and Private Ancillary Funds. The information brochure for the Funds, issued by PTCo, should be considered before deciding whether to invest.

Fees and charges
The schedule of fees and charges for estate planning, administration of deceased estates, trusts, philanthropic trusts and Health and Personal Injury clients are outlined in our Financial Services Guide.

For many people, philanthropy starts with a gift of money – but becomes so much more. Whilst many prefer to receive help with the day to day admin – structuring their trust, tax management etc – there is a lot of satisfaction to be gained from two key areas of giving.

Finding your organisation

Once you’ve established your philanthropy plan you can choose who to support. Perpetual’s philanthropy specialists and access to our philanthropy application program (which matches our clients’ wishes with suitable organisations) can help you find organisations and projects that align with your values. 

Making and tracking gifts

Once you have selected charities to support, you are ready to make a gift.

Again, you can control your involvement to make sure it fits in with your overall financial plan and interests. You can choose to:

  • track your philanthropy to see how the organisations you support are performing.
  • learn about ways you can ‘improve’ your giving (this is not necessarily about more money – often it’s about giving more regularly and predictably).
  • expand or refine your giving to further support the organisations or causes you care about.

At each step of this process Perpetual can provide specific, personalised advice.

Perpetual has an ongoing partnership with Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS). Stanford PACS is a global thought leader on how to improve philanthropy, strengthen civil society and effect social change.

Perpetual and Stanford PACS work together on a range of major initiatives including:

  • Bringing globally recognised thinkers such as Paul Brest, Lucy Bernholz and Rob Reich to Australia to talk to and work with the Australian philanthropic and NFP communities.
  • Taking some of Australia’s leading NFP CEOs to Stanford to engage with the PACS community.
  • Over the term of this partnership, Perpetual and Stanford PACS have explored a whole range of issues including philanthropy and democracy, the impact and use of philanthropic data, global best practice on structured giving, the future of philanthropy post-COVID and much more.

Stanford webinar 

In-conversation with Stanford PACS: The future of philanthropy
The COVID-19 crisis is reshaping philanthropy – unleashing new forces and accelerating existing trends. Perpetual’s Cat Fay and Jane Magor discuss the future of philanthropy with our partners at Stanford PACS, Rob Reich and Lucy Bernholz. 

Watch Now

Stanford banner

Perpetual’s Philanthropy Toolkit – the tools you need to do more good


Cat Fay

“We have nearly 130 years of philanthropic legacy to draw on and that means we can see the impact of funding provided by our clients 50 to 100 years ago. We talk to current clients about that a lot – the perpetual nature of philanthropy means their generosity today could be felt by communities forever.” Caitriona Fay, Managing Partner - Community & Social Investments, Perpetual Private

Jane Magor

“I love working with such a highly skilled, motivated and caring team. Our technical experts ensure that philanthropy clients create maximum impact and enjoy a service that is tailored for them – from bespoke philanthropic investment advice to expert support with their giving strategies.” – Jane Magor, National Manager - Philanthropy & Non-Profit Services, Community & Social Investments, Perpetual Private

Meet the team

Your best interests at heart


How you invest the money in a charitable trust makes a big difference to how long that money lasts and the distributions it pays to the organisations you support. The tax regime applied to charities – and the fact that the investment term is effectively ‘perpetual’ – can influence the best investment strategy for your charitable trust. Perpetual has over 100 years’ experience investing charitable funds on behalf of wealthy individuals and families so that the organisations they support get maximum benefit.

Our Investment Management page has more in-depth information and insights.

Compound returns – earning interest on your interest can be extraordinarily powerful in a tax-effective charitable structure investing for the long-term. It’s often how charitable vehicles manage, over time, to give away more funds than they were established with – and still have capital invested to fund future distributions. Our Magic Pudding article explains how the magic of compound returns works to expand philanthropy.

As noted above, you can set up a charitable trust in several structures. Perpetual can help you choose the structure that is most tax-effective for you and most beneficial for the organisations you support. And whether you choose to use a Private Ancillary Fund – or a Public Ancillary Fund like the Perpetual Foundation – you’re using the expertise of Perpetual’s investment managers to generate the best return from your funds.


Perpetual is an ASX-listed, diversified financial services company which has been serving Australians since 1886 when it was established as a trustee company by a group of businessmen including Sir Edmund Barton, later to be Australia’s first Prime Minister. That trustee heritage – and the culture it created around putting clients first – is what makes Perpetual unique.

Perpetual is one of Australia’s largest managers of philanthropic funds - managing over 1,000 philanthropic trusts and endowments. Every year we distribute around $100 million to NFPs on behalf of our clients.  We work closely with the philanthropy and NFP sectors so that we understand the challenges they face and can discuss those with our clients.


Whatever your objectives, expert, strategic thinking about philanthropy will help you have the most impact on the communities and causes you care about – and have more fun doing it.

There are a series of key issues you might have questions about – whether you’re new to philanthropy, or just want to do it better or differently.

The place for philanthropy
It’s important you’re happy with the place philanthropy has in your life.  Perpetual financial advisers have deep expertise in working with clients to ensure their philanthropy fits into their financial plans around things like retirement funding, passing on wealth, tax management and more. We can work with your other advisers – such as lawyers and accountants – to make sure philanthropy fits into an over-arching plan.

Involvement – or not
Some people like to give and stand back. Others to give and dive in. There is no right way – there is only your way. Perpetual’s philanthropy experts help ensure you get all the information you want about your giving and its impact. But they can also make sure you make a big impact, without a major drain on your time.

TAKE YOUR FIRST STEP - contact us on 1800 631 381

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We’re proud to work with philanthropists to recognise the works of writers, researchers and other talented individuals.


Perpetual manages two Public Ancillary Funds you can make a tax-deductible donation to – the Perpetual Foundation and the Centenary Foundation. If you would like to make a donation to either fund, contact our Philanthropy team on 1800 501 227 or email

IMPACT Newsletter

IMPACT provides insight into important issues for philanthropists and the not-for-profit sector. It shares thought provoking ideas and best practice examples that aim to both stimulate and motivate a passion for philanthropy with Impact.

Perpetual Private advice and services are provided by Perpetual Trustee Company Limited (PTCo) ABN 42 000 001 007, AFSL 236643. This webpage contains general information only and is not intended to provide you with financial advice or take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider, with a financial or other adviser, whether the information is suitable for your circumstances. To the extent permitted by law, no liability is accepted for any loss or damage as a result of any reliance on this information. Perpetual Private advice and services are provided by Perpetual Trustee Company Limited (PTCo) ABN 42 000 001 007, AFSL 236643. This information was prepared by PTCo. To view the Perpetual Group's Financial Services Guide, please click here. The information is believed to be accurate at the time of compilation and is provided in good faith. This information, including any assumptions and conclusions is not intended to be a comprehensive statement of relevant practice or law that is often complex and can change. This article may contain information contributed by third parties. PTCo do not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any information contributed by a third party. Any views expressed in this article are opinions of the author at the time of writing and do not constitute a recommendation to act. No company in the Perpetual Group (Perpetual Limited ABN 86 000 431 827 and its subsidiaries) guarantees the performance of any fund or the return of an investor’s capital. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.