The Goldman Sachs JBWere Charitable Endowment Fund (CEF) last month made its first annual distribution of grants.

Over $40,000 was distributed between 34 different charitable organisations, including those supporting international aid, health and medical research and help for the socially disadvantaged.

Concurrently, GSJBWere said it had reduced the minimum investment amount into the CEF from $50,000 to $20,000, in what the firm called a “response to increasing awareness and growth in individual giving in Australia, and a move away from ‘cheque book’ philanthropy toward a more efficient and longer-lasting philanthropic solution”.

The head of GSJBWere’s seven-person philanthropic services team, Christopher Thorn, said the CEF structure was a step forward for philanthropy in Australia. “Prior to the creation of endowment fund structures such as the CEF, individuals looking to give to charity had to either provide a one-off donation or set up a ‘prescribed private fund’ which requires ongoing administration and support from the donor.

In contrast, the CEF is a simple product which requires no ongoing administration from the benefactor…it allows them to adjust the level of donations over the years in line with their income and the amount they wish to give to the charities of their choice.”