Christopher Cuffe Foundation

Founder and Chairman of Australian Philanthropic Services, Chris Cuffe, established his own family foundation, a private ancillary fund (PAF) called the Christopher Cuffe Foundation, in 2007.

“It’s been interesting to see the difference it has made to my experience of giving. I have always had an interest in philanthropy but, since establishing our family foundation, we have planned our giving more thoughtfully. This has made me more confident in the not-for-profit organisations we’ve supported, and I have relished the opportunities we’ve had to engage with them and more fully understand their work. It’s been an incredible privilege to see the impact our donations have had on the communities these organisations are helping.”

Having a PAF has also been a good way to get the children involved in giving. “It’s certainly been a joy to involve my family in the grant decision-making process and, from speaking to other PAF holders, I know this is a common experience. I have heard stories of regular family dinners where children are given the opportunity to ‘pitch’ the cause they’d most like to support, helping them to develop greater awareness of the disadvantage and social injustice in parts of our community. I hope this tradition will continue in our family and that the foundation will be an inspiration to future generations.”

As well as his immediate family, Chris has used his experience with the foundation to inspire others to be more philanthropic. As well as being involved in a portfolio of activities including a number of directorships, managing public and private investments, and various roles assisting the not-for-profit sector, Chris is the Founder and Chairman of Australian Philanthropic Services (APS).

APS came about when Chris realised that there was no one group specialising in making philanthropy easy – and knowledge about the PAF structure wasn’t widespread. Chris decided to set up APS as a unique not-for-profit model, which keeps fees to a minimum, is independent, and gives clients the chance to focus on the grantmaking decisions. “Our interest is to see philanthropy proliferate, not to make money out of it.” APS also educates financial advisors about philanthropy, to inspire the growth of these philanthropic structures. “There’s now over 1,000 PAFs in Australia, with almost $3 billion in assets and almost $200m a year being given away to charities. Philanthropy is a trend that is here to stay.’

Chris Cuffe is founder and Chairman of Australian Philanthropic Services. He has 25 years experience in building successful wealth management practices. Chris is Chairman of UniSuper Management Pty Ltd, Director of Third Link Investment Managers Pty Ltd, Cuffelinks Pty Ltd, and a Non-executive Director of Fitzpatricks Private Wealth. Chris is also Chairman of Primary Ethics Future Trust, the long-term capital arm of the charity Primary Ethics.

Chris Cuffe