21 January 2020

In episode 64, we explore the philanthropic response to the ongoing bushfires in Australia and what it highlights about philanthropy issues and trends. We also take a look at some of the other top philanthropy stories in the news.

  • How does the philanthropic response to the Aussie bushfires compare to the Notre Dame Cathedral fire last year?
  • Does it tell us anything about the differences between our response to man-made vs natural disasters, or disasters affecting man-made heritage vs natural heritage?
  • Does the fact that the Aussie bushfires are highly dispersed make a difference?
  • Are environmental issues less likely to be perceived as “elite”, and thus philanthropy focused on them less likely to be criticised as “self-interested”?
  • Is the response to the bushfires partly about people feeling a sense of agency over the issue of climate change, which often seems so huge that it can cause donation paralysis?
  • Does the fact that animals as well as humans have been affected make a difference?
  • Has the ongoing nature of the fires helped to make the relief effort itself a focus of philanthropy?
  • What questions does the voluntary nature of the firefighting services some raise about state responsibility vs that of philanthropy?
  • Has the response of elite philanthropists been slower than in the Notre Dame case? If so, why?
  • Could the fact that many Aussie philanthropists have made their money in extractive industries play a part in making them reticent to engage with a problem that is clearly being linked to climate change?
  • Celeste Barber’s Facebook fundraiser: what does her runaway success tell us about the distributed nature of fundraising in the future? What challenges does it highlight?
  • Other fundraising efforts: “The Nude Philanthropist” and altruistic drug dealers
Rhodri Davies

Rhodri Davies

Head of Policy

Rhodri leads Giving Thought, our in-house think tank focusing on current and future issues affecting philanthropy and civil society. Rhodri has spent nearly a decade specialising in public policy around philanthropy and the work of charities, and has researched, written and presented on a wide range of topics. He has a first-class degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from the University of Oxford.   Read more about Rhodri



Support Australia's bushfire appeals with CAF

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