Private philanthropy in Australia has been enjoying a bit of a boom in recent years, as a growing number of wealthy families and individuals set up investment trusts and channel the profits into good works.
The growth has driven in part by legislative changes made seven years ago that provided tax breaks for money invested in philanthropic funds. As a result, the holdings of these Proscribed Private Funds have grown from $78 million in 2001 to an estimated $1.2 billion last year. Over this period these funds have distributed around $300 million to various charities.
The federal government is now planning to change the way that these funds are administered and overseen.