Case Study

Top 50 Trends…
Photo by Michael Bainbridge ©
Over the last decade, the JB Were / Australian Financial Review Top 50 Philanthropic Gifts report has highlighted several notable trends.

The annual report tallies the top 50 givers by quantum (not necessarily quality) and is diligently prepared by sector stalwart John McLeod. It provides a useful snapshot of not only who has been giving, but also tracks some sector trends.

Here’s two key takeaways from the past decade:

  • The total value of the top 50 gifts has steadily increased over the years, with the 2021 report showing a total value of over $1 billion, an uptick on the total value of the top 50 gifts a decade ago, which was around $700 million.
  • The emergence of cause-related philanthropy and making significant gifts to of address pressing issues.

At the top of this year’s report (released in late April) was Craig and Di Winkler and their family PAF, the Yajilarra Trust*. The reason McLeod attributes for the large distributions (a jump of nearly $100M in 12 months): the trustees have decided to spend down Yajilarra’s corpus with a focus on making more impact now.

Spend down philanthropy is a growing trend globally. More and more philanthropists are seeking to make an impact now, opting against exercising the law of perpetuities which is a unique feature of charitable trusts.

If you’re interested in learning more about how ‘spend down’ philanthropy is relevant to your organisation, contact us.

*In Bunuba language, Yajilarra means, “to Dream”. A fitting tribute to the essence of great philanthropy and the difference considered, strategic philanthropy can achieve.