Eureka Benevolent Foundation

Seven years ago Belinda Hutchinson AM and her husband, Roger Massy-Greene, set up a private ancillary fund (PAF), the Eureka Benevolent Foundation, to help structure their charitable giving. They made a conscious decision from the beginning to engage their children in the PAF, and all four are very involved. “Each of our four children are directors of the foundation, and it’s been a really fulfilling exercise for our family.”

The benefits of having a PAF have been experienced on a number of levels. “First of all it’s given my husband and me an avenue for providing engaged and effective philanthropy. We went about setting it up like you would set up a new not-for-profit organisation.  We had a consultant come in, we did a strategy day with our family and our independent director to create a shared vision for what we wanted to achieve. We sat down and worked out where we were going to focus our giving, and what sort of areas both domestically and internationally we wanted to support.”

The initial work gave Belinda and her family a clear vision for their grantmaking. “We decided on empowering disadvantaged individuals, families and communities to improve their lives. And that can be in any way, shape or form.”

The process also helped them decide how many organisations they would aim to support, and the strategy they chose keeps everyone engaged. “Most of our grants are multi-year grants. We have significant grants, and smaller grants, and then we have very small grants so that each individual director can give to particular organisations that they feel aligned to.”

Each family member has one grant that they take on as their ‘baby’. This involves presenting a proposal to the board of the PAF. “They then work alongside that not-for-profit organisation and form an ongoing relationship. We’re very outcome focused in terms of our giving and like to have regular reporting back to the board.”

It’s a highly engaged process, and highly successful from Belinda’s perspective. “It’s been a really rewarding experience for us, you actually get back much more than you give, you really do.”

Belinda Hutchinson AM is a Director of Australian Philanthropic Services, AGL Energy, the NSW State Library Foundation, Chancellor of the University of Sydney and a member of the Salvation Army Eastern Territory Advisory Board. Belinda was previously an Executive Director of Macquarie Group, and vice president of Citibank. Before she and her husband established their family PAF, Belinda had a long history of involvement with not-for-profit and for-profit organisations. Some of her prior non-executive directorships include St Vincent’s Health Australia, QBE Insurance Group, Telstra, Coles, TAB and Energy Australia.

Belinda Hutchinson AM