Generous philanthropic donations and social investment can influence lasting social change, making a significant difference that aligns with ESG deliverables and executive interests.
Generous philanthropic donations and social investment can influence lasting social change, making a significant difference that goes beyond one-off charitable giving, Activ Foundation CEO Michael Heath explained.
“When an organisation receives philanthropic support, we see a ripple effect that impacts all aspects of an organisation and the community as a whole,” Mr Heath said.
“Generous philanthropic donations change lives, not just now, but for the future as it addresses disparity, influences innovation and creates change through programs and development that may have, otherwise, not seen the light of day.”
Philanthropy and social investment are different to one-off charitable giving. “It is more informed in its direction, with lots of planning and consideration given to large philanthropic donations. These are usually based on company values, executive interests, and align with ESG deliverables. Due to this informed approach, when received, they make a big difference,” Mr Heath said.
Mr Heath explained that corporate philanthropy has changed over time. “It has decreased in its traditional form of large financial donations and morphed into often a package of giving that includes time, in-kind contributions, volunteering, and sponsorships that assist both the giver and receiver to benefit through joint brand representation,” he explained.
“We welcome these new philanthropic packages as they really tend to benefit the wider community as well as those in the beneficiary’s audience.
“Companies do not function in isolation from the society around them, so it is important for corporates especially to align with not-for-profits, like Activ Foundation, to be able and have the wider ranging community impact, while it is just as important for charities to have the expertise to leverage these philanthropic gifts for all involved.”
Philanthropy in Australia has historically underinvested in disability. In 2017-18, just 4.3 per cent of philanthropic funding was allocated to people with disability, a small figure given people with disability comprise approximately 20 per cent of the Australian population.
Deloitte Access Economics’ 2023 Report: The Case for Philanthropy in Disability, published in February 2023, highlighted a compelling need for a philanthropic focus on disability.
“Outcomes for people with disability are worse by every socioeconomic measure,” Kane Blackman, CEO of Good Sammy Enterprises, told Business News. “This inequality is not because of a person’s disability, but rather the structural barriers that prevent their participation in social and economic life. Philanthropy can be that catalyst for change.
“Philanthropy for Good Sammy has enabled us to meet an un-met need and build a more equitable and inclusive Western Australia.
“For example, our philanthropic partners have enabled us to deliver certified traineeships and licenses for people with disability with high needs, empowering a community that has often been overlooked. These programs also provide a pathway to open employment.”
The long-term impacts are clear: a skilled, empowered workforce, breaking down barriers to employment.
“Our philanthropic focus extends far beyond immediate assistance – it is an enabler of sustainable economic and social outcomes, that change lives, and have ripple effects across communities,” Mr Blackman stated.
“Ultimately, philanthropy is supporting Good Sammy Enterprises to make an enduring impact that resonates through generations.
Benefits for all
Activ Foundation’s partnership with Chevron Australia for the Chevron City to Surf for Activ has wide-ranging benefits for all. Not only does the money raised from the event go straight back into Activ to benefit Western Australians living with disability, but the wider Perth community gets to come together for an iconic annual event, get fit, have fun, and connect with others.
“That is the beauty of philanthropy and social investment. It impacts lasting social change and also spreads roots into the wider society,” Mr Heath said.
Corporates can give through volunteering with Activ in a number of ways – whether it be getting involved in our premier events like the Chevron City to Surf for Activ, fundraising opportunities, or volunteering time with a garden or home makeover at one of Activ’s many disability accommodation homes. “We find teams get just as much out of these opportunities as the Activ community do,” Mr Heath said.
Operating as “profit-for-purpose”, Activ Foundation welcomes support in a variety of ways. “We welcome any support, whether that be a direct donation or getting involved in our events, buying a ticket in the Activ lotteries, partnering with us for a wider impact or campaign, volunteering or simply supporting what we do – it all goes a long way,” Mr Heath said.
“We rely on the generosity of the WA community to be able to provide the support that we do to Western Australians living with disability. Any gift no matter how big or small can make a life-changing difference.
“We’d love to talk to anyone who’d like to make donation – you can email us at email@example.com or give our office a call on 9385 0555.”
Giving has numerous benefits that go beyond the impact it has on recipient and the tax benefits. Research has shown that those who donate time or money appear to feel happier, have lower stress levels, and report living a more meaningful life. There is also the connection with a wider community and being able to make lasting change, even if it is a small donation from an individual, it all makes a big difference.
Volunteering is another valuable way individuals and corporate organisations can give back.
“Corporate volunteering at Good Sammy is more than just clocking in hours. It’s a chance to roll up your sleeves and discover the hidden talents within our team.
“When your employees engage directly with ours, they're not just giving time; they're gaining insight, breaking barriers, and leaving with a richer understanding of inclusion,” Mr Blackman said.
The real reward in giving is the “aha” moment you experience when working with teams such as Good Sammy’s. “It's the realisation that abilities surpass any preconceived notions,” Mr Blackman said.
“Volunteering isn’t just a selfless act; it's a chance to witness dreams, goals, and skills unfold before your eyes. In giving, you receive an understanding that transcends generosity – it’s about shared humanity and the power of inclusion.”
Furthermore, volunteering with organisations such as Good Sammy and Activ is a tool to improve the visibility of disability.
“Volunteering in a social enterprise like Good Sammy also helps our corporates deliver the S in ESG: Environmental, Social, Governance,” Mr Blackman added.
To volunteer at Good Sammy, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9463 0500.