TSA Group chair Tim Ungar gave insight into how his family foundation donated money at Meridian Global Foundation’s ‘Meet the Philanthropist’ event last night.
Mr Ungar, who started a private ancillary fund, Ungar Family Foundation, with his wife Christine Ungar a decade ago, was the event’s guest speaker.
He told the room the foundation aimed to create opportunities which otherwise would not exist; support Western Australian organisations and causes; invest in projects with tangible outcomes; and offer seed funding which encourages further donations.
“One of the good things about your own foundation is that you can be, to a certain point, directive about how you want to see that money spent,” Mr Ungar said.
“We have been really focused on giving money to see an outcome.”
The foundation supports the arts, as Mr Ungar is involved in the sector as the chair of Perth Festival and a former chair of WA Museum, the environment and reducing homelessness.
Mr Ungar said the foundation tended to support emerging artists and arts companies which created opportunities for young artists, including Black Swan State Theatre Company of WA and Perth Festival.
The Ungar Family Foundation has also donated to arts organisations including STRUT Dance and Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts.
To reduce homelessness, the foundation supports community services organisation Ruah and its 20 Lives, 20 Homes project in Fremantle.
It provides funding for a nature conservancy project to repopulate the Swan River with native shellfish, mussels and oysters.
While not one of its top three priorities, medical research was also an area the foundation donated to.
It supports a nurse who works as Dr Chan Cheah’s Blood Cancer Research WA, an organisation which is aiming to treat people with blood cancer in WA so patients don’t have to go interstate for treatment as they previously did.
Mr Ungar stressed no matter how much you have to give, the act of giving was the most important thing.
“Don’t ever feel intimidated by not feeling that you’re in the zone where you can give significant amounts of money because every amount of money makes a difference and every amount of money sets an example, not just to your family, not just to your peers, it sets an example right across the board that philanthropy is a very important part of our society,” Mr Ungar said.
Meridian Global Foundation campaigned for donations to its giving circle at the event and reached $63,000; the most the foundation had ever raised at this stage of its annual donation drive.
Joining the giving circle involves a donation of at least $1,000 which gives you the chance to vote on what charity the foundation supports for the year.
The foundation is aiming to raise $150,000 by its giving circle event in October.
It has donated $500,000 to 27 charities since 2014.