One week on from the Be BlueRock Foundation official launch party and we're still buzzing! Over 200 guests from the wider BlueRock community came along and were inspired by our amazing speakers who shared their personal journeys with philanthropy.
While the momentum behind the foundation had been steadily building for almost 2 years, we’re now firing on all cylinders and have launched into some exciting partnerships with local charities and starting to develop relationships with our corporate partners. We’re also here to guide individuals and businesses that want to get involved in philanthropy, either through the creation of their own charitable fund account or as part of our philanthropic advisory service.
Now that we’ve made it official, we thought we’d let you know more about how the Be BlueRock Foundation came to be, why we started it and what our impact will be over the coming years.
The origins of the foundation can be traced back to opportunities discovered within BlueRock’s Private Wealth division, as Managing Director Adam Morse and team worked closely with BlueRock clients on their investment strategies and philanthropic endeavours. From this spark, a conversation between Adam and Tabitha Lovett, CEO at the Besen Family Foundation and a board Member of Philanthropy Australia, lit a fire that would become the Be BlueRock Foundation.
Today, the foundation is an extension of BlueRock, a B-corp certified business that aims to create real value within the community. While it seems logical now, what was unexpected was the power of creating a structure and strategy for BlueRock, its 300-plus staff and over 6,000 clients, to give back. The foundation has already enhanced the cultural strength of BlueRock and highlighted that philanthropy has an important role to play for individuals and SMEs, not just corporates and the uber-wealthy. And we’re just getting started.
The Be BlueRock Foundation exists to build stronger communities by focusing on three key areas where we endeavour to make a difference. By targeting our efforts to grassroots organisations working across specific causes of importance, the intention is that the Be BlueRock Foundation can have a direct and long-lasting impact.
To decide on where to place our philanthropy efforts, BlueRock staff were surveyed so the Be BlueRock Foundation Taskforce could focus on areas identified as important to our direct community. The foundation’s taskforce is made up of BlueRock employees with strong community spirit, who are keen to get hands-on with our foundation to ensure it has a genuine social impact. The taskforce meets regularly to perform due diligence on the charities we’re supporting and the corporate partners we intend to work with. They also liaise with families and individuals who want to get involved with the foundation.
The initial priority causes for the foundation are:
In addition to our own efforts in these areas through partnerships and financial donations, the foundation aims to make philanthropy more accessible by centralising the governance, administration, and investment functions of a foundation, whilst allowing families and SMEs to set up their own sub funds, which we call “charitable fund accounts”.
Each charitable fund account, established by an individual, family or business, will identify its own specific giving strategy, without needing to double up on the operational functions and costs involved in running a foundation. This creates efficiency within a sector that is often financially burdened by inefficiency, which ultimately reduces the impact that can be achieved. It also means that people can get involved with charities and causes that matter to them personally, while piggy-backing off the expertise and support of the broader foundation.
With the Be BlueRock Foundation developing its own giving strategy, educational and engagement resources, and internal expertise, a blueprint has been created. Instead of starting a philanthropic journey from scratch, this blueprint can be leveraged by those in our community.
Setting up a charitable fund account allows you to choose the causes and charities you would like to support. You can also name your fund and invite friends and family to get involved. Because the general charitable registration process has already been completed by the Be BlueRock Foundation, charitable fund accounts can be established quickly, allowing holders to get on with making tax-deductible contributions, defining their giving strategy and enjoying their philanthropic journey.
All contributions into a charitable fund account are fully tax deductible and all investment earnings are tax free. 4% of the fund’s balance must be distributed to registered charitable organisations each year and there’s a minimum contribution of $50,000 to get started. The Be BlueRock Foundation takes care of this process from start to finish.
There’s more to philanthropy than simply stumping up large sums of money. BlueRock’s philanthropy advisory service can help create a personalised giving strategy that directly addresses your passions and drivers. We’ll meet with you to discuss your philanthropic goals and ideas before exploring, researching and doing due diligence on relevant charities and organisations to connect you with.
Anyone can make tax-deductible donations to the Be BlueRock Foundation at any time. Your donation is invested in the Be BlueRock Fund and will be distributed to the charities we support, with details of their activities and achievements published each year on our website.
For BlueRock staff and clients, the foundation can also help facilitate the donation of your time and talents. Talk to us about exploring pro-bono opportunities or offering your skills and experience at an organisational level, leveraging the foundation’s relationships and partnerships with charities.
If you’re interested in embarking on a philanthropic journey to leave a lasting legacy for your family, business or community, we’re here to help you. We’re also interested to hear from charities that align with our cause areas, and corporate partners, who are looking to form impactful long-term partnerships. Get in touch with us today to find out the best way to get involved in philanthropy.