By Emma Sakellaris MBA / Master of Commercial Law / Master of Employment & Industrial Relations Law, General Manager, Australian Unity Trustees Limited

Giving back to the community through contributions to charitable projects and initiatives is highly rewarding. 

Philanthropy can truly connect your family across multiple generations, now and into perpetuity.  Family discussion around the table to discuss potential grant recipients and the progress of projects and initiatives supported can also provide an important awareness of community and issues and needs.

You may not think you are not sufficiently wealthy to establish a charitable foundation and a legacy into perpetuity. However, many people regularly donate to charities or sponsor the activities of friends and families for charitable purposes.  This is commonly known as unstructured giving and has an important place in the world of philanthropy. 

Whilst any giving can be considered good giving, unstructured giving is limited in its ability to continue to contribute to the community over time.  The true power of charitable giving is through the investment of a corpus into perpetuity through the establishment of a charitable trust, with the income being distributed according to your wishes, to eligible grant recipients.

The establishment of a more structured, perpetual giving approach is well within the means of most Australians with as little as $20,000 required to establish a basic trust. This is a more effective and sustainable way to give back to communities and to contribute to charitable programs and initiatives, in a way that can establish your legacy that continues across multiple generations of your family.

Those wishing to give to the community have the option of a establishing a philanthropic trust during their lifetime, an inter vivos trust, or to establish one upon their passing, a ‘will trust’ – both structures are established with the objective of the legacy continuing into perpetuity. 

There is nothing more satisfying than giving back to the community.  Australian Unity Trustees can work side by side with you and your family to develop a charitable giving structure tailored to your individual circumstances, philanthropic objectives and wishes.