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APAC "Hot Topics" - what questions do you want answered?

Atlassian Foundation Director, Atlassian

I've been catching up with a bunch of our Pledge 1% members in APAC, and pondering ... what could we do together?


So I want to ask you all - especially those on the APAC timezone - what kind of 'hot topics' would you like to discuss or have a presentation or workshop on?


For example - are you interested in developing your Theory of Change, would you like to know more about tax effective giving (what is DGR status in Australia, how do you get it, do you need it?), how do you choose a focus area - should you even have one, how do you engage your employees with volunteering - what works, what doesn't?


I want to hear from y'all - what topics should we explore together? What's important to you?


I'll go first - Mary Abdo of Centre for Evidence and Implementation helped us at the Atlassian Foundation develop our Theory of Change, I think it would be very excellent to hear from her on how she could help more Pledge members track the impact of their granting programs.


But what do you want to hear more about? Please share it in this thread!


Advisor (Impact), Blackbird Ventures

Love this @melissablee! At Blackbird we've got a dual set of interests here and would love to collaborate with others who have similar needs:

  1. At home, as Pledge members ourselves, we're likely to be keen to understand what the options are for governance and structure, including:
    1. does it make sense for us to go down the DGR route? What are the pros and cons from both an impact and scale efficiency standpoint?  My wonderful colleague @joelconnolly is our lead on all this, so might want to comment more!
    2. longer term, we'll be keen to develop some meaningful measures of impact, but what can we put in place now to set ourselves up to do that well?
  2. From a portfolio standpoint, the interest is really in how we can:
    1. help new Pledge members navigate the strategy around their pledges - including what questions need answering in what order, and what have others on the journey learnt that can either be 'leapfrogged'/avoided?  And as you say, what's the venture version of a great Theory of Change workshop?  What's a great model for involving the team in all of this?  What in-house expertise do you need, and what can you bring in?  Which suppliers of specialist expertise or services are great?
    2. best identify the benefits to being a Pledge member and advise potential Pledge members on whether it's the right move for them and when?  I.e. is it ever sensible for a v v early stage company to sign up if they're not yet profitable, have limited staff, MVP product and a really nascent cap table?  Unlikely to be true, but when is a sensible time to reconsider?

No doubt bundles of stuff I'm missing here, but a starter on some of my thinking! 

Head of Atlassian Foundation and Chair of Pledge 1% Board, Atlassian

Such great suggestions @melissablee and @KateGlazebrook! Thanks Melissa for raising this topic and thanks to you both for contributing such great ideas.

Rose Spitzer, I have 2 questions:

1. is it possible to create a poll for APAC members; and

2. How do I @mention people here? The @mention function doesn't appear to be working for me

Pledge 1% Alumni
Pledge 1%

Great post and ideas @melissablee and @KateGlazebrook. I added your conversation to our Featured Content so it won't be missed by any APAC users exploring the community!


Hi Mark, 

Happy Friday! 

1.  Yes, we can create polls on the community. Khoros has a built in poll feature, but I would recommend using one of the many poll apps out there that are free and easy to use. They've come a long way in the last few years! You can try Poll Anywhere or Poll For All, even Doodle does a pretty good poll. Below is an example from Poll For All that allows you to embed it right into your community post! You can set your preferences including if you want it to anonymous or if you'd like the voter to share their info. I'm happy to help create something for the APAC region! Just PM me what you're thinking and I'll get it ready to post. 

2. You should be able to mention people by just including the @ sign and then their username. I took a look at your account and fiddled with a few things. Give it a try now and let me know.  A few things to remember: 

- You have to tag their username (which might be different from their actual name) 

- You can't use any spaces when tagging people 

- You can also tag content by using the @ sign! Time Playbook 

Exciting news: we're actually working on an update right now that will allow users to set their user name to their first and last name and include spaces!! Coming soon.... 🙂 

Have a great weekend! 


Rose Spitzer
Director, Pledge 1% Community

Managing Director, Payments Consulting Network

Hi @melissablee 


Thanks for posting. There are two topics that I would like to explore or workshop with the APAC team:


1. How do other companies get staff engaged either in volunteering or donating more to charities?  I'd be interested in hearing from members that have had staff feedback (formal or informal) on whether matched funding programs have led to staff donating more than usual or supporting causes that they had not previously considered. I would also like to hear ideas on what programs members have run that get staff doing more volunteering in their own time. We engage staff/consultants as contractors (paid by the hour), so the concept of providing staff with "volunteer days" means we would be paying the contractors and additional fee (at cost) to do this "volunteer" work, which isn't really encouraging staff to give, and these funds could instead just be donated directly to the charity. Do I need to look at this differently by considering the ROI on that volunteer cost? It would be great to get some feedback on this issue, understand how other companies inspire their staff to volunteer their own time to causes, or brainstorm different ideas for how to achieve this.


2. What discounted products/services or volunteer time do members provide not-for-profits? Over the last 12 months I've supported six Australian charities by reviewing their payments arrangements to see if I could provide information on alternative payment providers or better pricing with their existing providers. I've had good success, achieving 20%-70% cost savings on payment fees, but have found the payment service provider decision is often tied into the CRM and fundraising platform decision, so this is a complex process. During the course of this pro bono work, I've come across services offered by 1% Pledge members such as Salesforce's free Nonprofit Success Pack (free licences - used by one client), Atlassian's volunteer support for projects (used by two clients), and AAkonsult's Payments2us platform (used by one client - this fundraising platform integrates with Salesforce, supports donation pages, crowdfunding, subscriptions, events, etc, and integrates with multiple payment service providers). It seems that there could be a range of products and services offered by members that could be neatly "packaged" or listed in a resource pack that could be provided to not-for-profits so that they could easily know what free/discounted services are offered. This would avoid them using a jumble of expensive resources/tools when better free or low cost services are readily available.  While I'm trying to educate each new pro bono client with what I have learnt from previous clients, it strikes me that there should be a better way of doing this, particularly as I'm sure there are other useful member services that I haven't come across yet. The Company Profiles section of the Pledge 1% website doesn't seem to allow each company to list their pledged services and doesn't have a means to easily filter companies by pledge type or location, but may be this section could be developed further for this purpose. Alternatively, this could just be discussed during the next APAC call.  I've had a look at the and sites, but neither of those list the services I've just described, so don't really seem to be a fit.






Hi Melissa,


Looking forward to the conversation! Would be keen to hear about how others have approached their theory of change as well as what types of structures people have in place to facilitate their giving. For example we are set up as a private ancillary fund. 



Managing Director, Payments Consulting Network

Hi Briany


We started with a private ancillary fund (PAF) with Australian Philanthropic Services in 2011. At the time it wasn't possible to start with a sub-fund in a public ancillary fund  (PuAF) then convert later to a PAF. It seemed the right structure at the time as I hoped to eventually have a sizeable PAF even though I could only start with a seed investment initially.


Later, the regulations changed to allow portability between PuAFs and PAFs and vice versa, the APS Foundation (a PuAF) was set up, and the fees for managing the PAF increased making it not very cost effective for our fund balance at the time. As a result, we made the decision in 2017 to move the funds over to a giving fund in the APS Foundation. This has been a great decision, not just from a cost perspective, but also from an admin and investment management perspective as I can now focus on the giving aspect rather than everything else that is involved in running a PAF (even if the compliance is managed by APS).


The minimum starting balance for a giving fund within the APS Foundation is $50,000, minimum annual donation is 3%, with the minimal individual donation being $1,000. It can all be managed easily via an online client portal and the APS team are very responsive to questions. Hence, it's a very flexible giving structure and works well for our fund size and objectives. Once you get to a balance of $1 million then it is likely to be more cost effective to move to a PAF structure, but it's worth considering whether you want to take on some of the investment management and admin responsibilities that the PuAF manages.


For those that are interested, here is a link to the reflections of the outgoing CEO of APS, Antonia Ruffell, in which she shares some great stats and observations about the giving done by APS PAF and Foundation clients which dispels many misconceptions people may have on formal giving structures - Key themes are: small can be impactful and structured giving can vary significantly in terms of size and approach.




Atlassian Foundation Director, Atlassian

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