In my last blog, I mentioned a range of planned giving structures including Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs). I now take a deeper dive into the workings of a PAF.
In summary, a PAF is an efficient, satisfying and tax effective way to put a structure around your philanthropy. It allows a donor to set aside capital to generate investment income for charitable purposes in perpetuity.
What is a PAF?
A PAF is a type of private charitable trust established and operated in Australia. It is maintained under a Will or an instrument of trust (e.g. trust deed) under State or Territory law. Today there are roughly 1,600 PAFs across the country, with 80 – 100 established annually and total net assets valued at over $7 Billion. In the 2013/14 tax year, they gave away $300M.
How is a PAF structured and governed?
“To give away money is an easy matter and in any man’s power. But to decide to whom to give it and how large and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every man’s power nor an easy matter.” (Aristotle c. 384 B.C. to 322 B.C.)
This is the final chapter in our series on private planned giving structures and covers the most rewarding part of philanthropy – giving the money away! (otherwise known as grantmaking).
We cover grantmaking as it applies to a Private Ancillary Fund (PAF). The detailed workings of a PAF were considered in my last blog.
There is no single right way to grant. Grants can be for general purposes or to support specific projects or programs.
Following our three-part series on planned giving that focused on a structure known as a Private Ancillary Fund (PAF) – a PAF requires a significant donation to make the structure feasible (of at least $500,000). This article discusses an alternative to a PAF called a Public Ancillary Fund that requires a much lower donation (of $50,000 in most cases).
There is still much consistency between a Public Ancillary Fund (PuAF) and a PAF, especially around the tax benefits and grant making.
What is a Public Ancillary Fund (PuAF)?
A PuAF is a communal tax exempt philanthropic trust that enables a number of donors to establish and name a ‘sub fund’ under the broader PuAF structure.
With a sub fund, the donor does not need to worry about the trustee obligations and responsibilities associated with a PAF and can put their energy into choosing charities they would like to support.
Australia is traditionally a giving nation. Australian’s have a deep-seated code of ‘mate ship’ believing that everyone is entitled to a ‘fair go’. If one of us is in need then we rally together to support those less fortunate (e.g. just recall natural disasters such as bush fires, cyclones or tsunami). Many of us have and still do donate to a charity on a regular basis. Others make ad-hoc donations to various charities when approached (e.g. Red Cross door knock appeal).
You don’t have to be wealthy to be philanthropic. Many people give little or no money but rather volunteer their time and/or expertise in their local community and/or to a charitable organisation. For wealthier Australian’s who make larger donations it is often more effective to channel giving ideas into a planned giving vehicle such as their own Private Ancillary Fund (PAF).
In what is the first of a series of three articles on philanthropy, we provide insights into what is philanthropy, some motivators on why people give, examples of significant philanthropists and explore avenues on how to give. Finally, we provide a link to on-line resources should you wish to read further.
What is Philanthropy?
Philanthropy Australia provides a formal definition as ‘the planned or structured giving of money, time, goods and services or other to improve the well-being of humanity and the community”.