Welcome to the Paul Ramsay Foundation

30 Nov 2015

Our first year in philanthropy

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The launching of the Paul Ramsay Foundation website marks a significant stage in the evolution of the organisation.

As a group, the management team and directors have spent the last year immersing themselves in the business of philanthropy. We’ve learned a lot, and for that, we owe a big thank you to Social Ventures Australia, Greg Hutchinson, Sharna Goldseker (of 21/64 in New York), and the philanthropic community as a whole, who have been so generous with their time and knowledge.

I was fortunate enough to work for Paul Ramsay for 5 years. But that time seems like a mere blink when compared to the relationships enjoyed by our board members – relationships stretching back dozens of years, even decades. It was that longstanding knowledge of Paul’s generosity that helped shape the Foundation’s charter.

The development of the Foundation has taught us all a great deal about the type of organisation we want to be. But we’re very aware that this is an aspiration, and we acknowledge the need to take a measured approach into what is a new and exciting landscape, for both me personally and the rest of the team. We are indeed lucky to be playing a part in what is a very exciting time for philanthropy in Australia.

At the core of our mission and our grant making process is the desire to forge long term collaborative partnerships, and to adopt a long term strategic approach. Organisations that submit an expression of interest will, if successful, be invited to form part of a dialogue, which may ultimately lead to a grant. This process will allow us to start a conversation with those working at the forefront of specific issues and enable us to foster collaboration within the sector.

As part of the strategy development process, the board made the decision to work in health, education and disadvantage in Australia. Within each of those broad domains, we will develop specific areas of focus that we will look to work in. They will be somewhat limited in the early days, but over time we will look to add new areas of focus and different ways of funding.

No matter what, though, the premise will remain the same: to empower people to enable lasting change.

author Simon Freeman, CEO