This is an applied unit in which students explore philanthropy’s strategic role supporting organisations and initiatives aiming to address social and environmental challenges. It examines how philanthropy fits within the broader social impact ecosystem. Students will critically reflect on the different approaches which can enhance philanthropy’s impact, and consider how the role of philanthropy is evolving. Students will develop an understanding of the key components of grantmaking processes, including the legal and regulatory context and ethical and governance challenges. As this is an experential learning unit, students design and implement a process that culminates in making a real grant to an organisation.


Teaching Periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date
Semester 2
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Apply coherent and advanced knowledge of the key concepts, approaches and debates in relation to philanthropy’s role as a funder of social impact
  • Apply problem-solving and decision-making methodologies in the context of grantmaking
  • Critically evaluate governance and decision-making practices within the context of grantmaking
  • Communicate effectively to a variety of audiences and function as an effective member or leader of a team

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
5.60 5 weeks 28
Directed Online Learning and Independent Learning
4.00 2 weeks 8
Unspecified Learning Activities (Phasing out)
Independent Learning
9.50 12 weeks 114


Type Task Weighting ULO's
PresentationIndividual 15 - 25% 1,3,4 
Reflective EssayIndividual 30 - 40% 1,3 
ReportGroup 40 - 60% 1,2,3,4 


  • How philanthropy fits within the broader social impact ecosystem, including the various functions and roles of philanthropy
  • Different approaches to enhancing philanthropy’s impact
  • The evolution of philanthropy’s role and practices over time, and the current debates focusing on this
  • The legal and regulatory context for grantmaking
  • Grantmaking processes and practices
  • Ethical and governance issues in the grantmaking process
  • Technological solutions used as part of the grantmaking process

Study resources

Reading materials

A list of reading materials and/or required textbooks will be available in the Unit Outline on Canvas.