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Introducing the Philanthropic Impact Pioneers Program

About PIPP

The Philanthropy Impact Pioneers Program (PIPP) is hosted by the University of Melbourne and the Menzies Foundation. PIPP helps participating organisations improve their philanthropic practice through a combination of expert advice and peer learning. It also intends to share its learning and provide a roadmap that can be followed by other grantmakers seeking to improve their practice.

PIPP began as a direct response to the limited uptake of social impact strategy, measurement and management in the Australian philanthropic sector. The program is working towards a greater level of evidence-led, impactful and effective giving in Australia.

Philanthropy: Towards a Better Practise Model

In 2014 we asked the not-for-profit (NFP) and the philanthropic sectors what their practice looked like, and where they thought they needed the most help. We published the answers in 2018 as the Philanthropy: Towards a Better Practise Model report.

The report shows that there were differences in perception between NFPs and grantmakers about the extent to which NFPs could talk with grantmakers. Significant discrepancies exist between the support needs identified by NFPs and what grantmakers were funding. This stemmed from the lack of accountability and low transparency for philanthropic organisations.

Steps towards better impact for philanthropic giving
Better Strategy

Few philanthropic organisations have an impact-based strategy around giving. The distribution of money is their end goal rather than the first step in their philanthropic practise. If the social impact of Australian philanthropy is to increase, this needs to change.

Better Evidence

Both big data (quantitative measures) and thick data (qualitative measures) need to be used. Testing of strategic prototypes needs to be done to find out exactly

Who, what, and where people are experiencing various disadvantages

Why and how people are being disadvantaged

How to work with communities to create actions and a solid base to work around shifting outcomes.

Our ambitions for the philanthropic sector

PIPP wants to enhance the Australian philanthropic sector by

  • enhancing trust networks, knowledge-sharing and collaboration between foundations

  • modelling learning and evidence-led practice in all parts of the sector

  • developing a cohort of collective impact leaders to act as reformers within the sector

  • building an accessible and local evidence base around the philanthropic journey to become a learning organisation

  • improving knowledge transfer and best practise adoption.

Our team

Dr Jodi York, PIPP Research Lead
Social impact researcher, advisor, and facilitator. Research fellow, University of Melbourne

Dr York works with mission-driven organisations and capital providers to tackle entrenched social problems and deliver deeper-impact – How to fund it, how to create it, how to measure and communicate it, how to strategically manipulate it, and how to leverage networks to multiply it. She is co-author of Philanthropy: Towards a Better Practise Model, and Actionable Impact Management.

Liz Gillies, PIPP Convener
CEO at Menzies Foundation, Honourary Research Fellow, University of Melbourne

Liz Gillies has over 20 years’ experience in a range of fields that compliment working for social impact. Liz joined the Melbourne Business School in 2009 and was instrumental in establishing the Asia Pacific Social Impact Centre (APSIC) and the Centre for Ethical Leadership. In November 2011 she was selected as the inaugural research fellow to lead a three-year partnership between APSIC and the Trust Company which focussed on strategic philanthropy and culminated on the release of the report Philanthropy: Towards a Better Practise Model.

Kate McKegg, PIPP Evaluation Specialist

Kate McKegg co-founded the Developmental Evaluation Institute, is the Director of the Knowledge Institute, and is a member of the Kinnect Group.

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