Pinnacle Charitable Foundation

Pinnacle has a strong belief in the role of corporate Australia’s responsibility to give back to the communities from which businesses draw support and inspiration. The company actively seeks to engage in causes which are identified as important by affiliated fund managers, employees, shareholders and client groups. The majority of community investment initiatives are directed through the Pinnacle Charitable Foundation (Foundation).

Established by Pinnacle’s antecedent companies in 1987, including Wilson HTM, Wilson & Co and the Wilson family, the Foundation has a continuous 30 year legacy of giving to innovative organisations which are seeking to develop evidence based products, programs and services to make their communities better places. The Foundation facilitates the delivery of solutions which can be tested, analysed, strengthened and scaled, with more than $3.5 million donated to over 60 Australian charities. Partnerships are often jointly funded with affiliates, and aim to establish relationships with progressive charitable organisations which have a commitment to strong internal governance and external research. Entities are offered funds, time and advice to help expand their services, explore program and product development and make an impact in new communities.

As an early stage backer frequently offering seed funding to encourage trials and to incubate new projects, the Foundation has seen many partners leverage its initial support. Securing further funding from private and public donors has successfully built the long term capacity of these organisations to positively drive change in their communities. In all cases the Foundation provides annual funding of between $20,000 and $100,000 for specific projects and programs, which are approved via a formal application and assessment process. The goal is to build multi year engagements which foster strong and close relationships, and support the ability of selected not for profit entities to address often complex social issues.

Pinnacle directly contributes to the Foundation’s corpus and has active representation on the Board, which maintains a majority of independent Directors. Pinnacle provides a range of pro bono services to the Foundation including investment management, portfolio reporting, finance and IT, which allow  the Foundation to operate in a highly efficient manner with low overheads and high impact. Affiliated fund managers reimburse their fees for the Foundation’s investments, to further demonstrate their commitment to its longterm sustainability. Pinnacle shareholders are also invited to direct a portion of the cash entitlement of each PNI final year dividend to the Foundation, to support charity partners specifically aiming to minimise early stage mental health issues and reduce crisis intervention, and ultimately lower suicide rates.

The Pinnacle Charitable Foundation is registered with the ACNC (Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission) as a Public Ancillary Fund (PuAF), and details of Directors, governing documents and Annual Information Statements can be accessed via the ACNC site. The Foundation is endorsed by the ATO as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) covered by Item 2 of the table in section 30-15 of the Income tax Assessment Act 1997. All donations made to the Foundation over $2.00 are fully tax deductible.

The following projects are currently being supported by the Foundation and several of Pinnacle’s affiliated fund managers through donations of $20,000 or more:

Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI): aligned with Plato Investment Management and Resolution Capital Limited

Read more

Based at Westmead in Sydney, CMRI undertakes world-leading research to improve children’s health. As Australia’s first medical research facility dedicated to children, CMRI has been helping to save the lives of children for 60 years. The award winning, independent Institute has built an international reputation for high impact research dedicated to tackling the leading causes of death in children: cancer, congenital disorders (birth defects), and genetic diseases.

Following input from employees across Plato and Resolution Capital, the Foundation has for a second year joined with both fund managers to partner with CMRI in support of its Vector and Genome Engineering Facility (VGEF). This facility is at the cutting edge of translational research aimed at curing paediatric genetic disorders – not only in Australia, but on the world stage.

The purchase of an Amaxa 4D-Nucleofector System will allow researchers to efficiently deliver genome editing tools and functional copies of disease-causing genes into cell lines and stem cells. The hope is to better understand each disease and to develop and optimise novel therapeutic options.

Like the previous project - which also enabled the VGEF to purchase cutting edge equipment - the aim is to enhance researchers' understanding of the fundamental cell biology and molecular mechanisms of inherited and acquired paediatric disorders, and gain the potential to develop new treatment options.

Because the VGEF works with investigators from all major academic centres around Australia, the Amaxa system will benefit research being performed well beyond the CMRI.

ReachOut Australia: aligned with Pinnacle & Antipodes Partners

Read more

Employee feedback from Pinnacle clearly indicates that prevention and early intervention of mental health issues in young people is highly important to them. Following Antipodes' establishment of a link with ReachOut through contributing as a fund manager to Future Generation Global Investment Company (FGG), the Foundation is proudly supporting Reach.Out together with Antipodes for the second year.

ReachOut is Australia’s leading online mental health organisation for young people. The organisation provides innovative e-mental health services which enable young people to take control of their mental well being, thereby assisting them to identify early signs of illness. ReachOut aims to change the health landscape across Australia by delivering digital self help as an integral part of preventing mental illness, in a way that makes sense to young people.

One of the priorities for ReachOut right now is to develop a proactive approach to immediately address topical issues affecting youth mental health. Funds provided will enable ReachOut to rapidly provide appropriate content and tools based on real time events, via a range of online support and referral services designed for young people and for their parents.

batyr Australia: aligned with Palisade Investment Partners

Read more

batyr, meaning hero, is named after the famous talking elephant in Kazakhstan, and “exists to give a voice to the elephant in the room – mental health”. Employees across Palisade have a strong belief in addressing issues around youth mental health - especially in regional locations - and in fostering education as a pathway to future prosperity.

batyr is an ideal partner as the organisation draws on young facilitators with “lived experience” of mental health challenges to deliver peer to peer messages in schools and universities around resilience, hope and action within communities. Programs aim to engage, educate and empower participants.

The Foundation and Palisade are together supporting batyr for a second year to build on initial batyr@school programs delivered in the Central West region of NSW. batyr’s presence in the region will be extensively leveraged and further assisted by the recent announcement of a three year partnership with the NSW Positive Rugby Foundation, aimed at substantially building on batyr’s existing profile.

batyr programs aim to encourage young people to have open conversations about mental health - increasing the likeliness of them seeking help for themselves or supporting friends or family to do so.

Full Stop Foundation: aligned to a key need identified by representatives from the superannuation funds industry

Read more

Domestic violence and sexual assault are by any measure the most common crimes committed in Australia, with enormous personal, social and productivity costs associated in every instance. Following feedback from superannuation funds - reflecting the interests of a major Pinnacle industry client group - the Foundation has established a powerful partnership with the NSW based Full Stop Foundation.

The Full Stop Foundation is about stopping sexual assault and domestic violence – Full Stop. Funding has enabled Full Stop to employ a Legal Researcher and Project Worker, to assist with the increasing number of requests from women seeking to access the justice system and fight for their rights, families, dignity and financial independence. Legal advice can help identify a miscarriage of justice, guide women about the legal process / steps / limitations, and explain why cases are viewed differently across different jurisdictions.

Funding from the Foundation for the role is continuing into its second year in recognition of the value provided through this specialised and trauma-informed legal advice, which is able to meet clients' specific needs and vulnerabilities.

Many Rivers Microfinance: aligned to a cause championed across the funds management industry

Read more

Many Rivers provides small business support services to foster business ownership and community economic development to Australians living in disadvantaged contexts, with a special focus on Indigenous Australians in regional and remote communities.

A partnership with Many Rivers is being continued into its second year, assisting the organisation to continue providing pathways to employment, financial security, personal and family stability and improved community capacity.

Funding from the Foundation is now contributing to Many Rivers' early stage work on managing the complex challenges around supply and demand, which are massive barriers to meeting the unprecedented interest from government and corporate entities seeking Indigenous engagement and economic contribution within large projects. Many Rivers and Origin are together actively seeking ways to engage Indigenous business in corporate supply chains, with broad implications for the insights gained / lessons learned.

R U OK?: new multi year partnership aligned with Pinnacle's commitment to help prevent mental health issues and reduce suicide

Read more

A new major relationship has been established with the national suicide prevention organisation R U OK?, which has a strong focus on the role of the wider community in preventing mental health issues from developing. R U OK? aims “to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with those around them and support anyone struggling with life”.

Specifically, R U OK? seeks to equip the public to help address mental health problems in their infancy, via the delivery of awareness and educational campaigns. It provides guidance across a number of campaigns on how to ask, listen, encourage action (via referral pathways) and check in with those who may need support.

This partnership will build on the Foundation’s core focus around helping to prevent / acknowledge / minimise early stage mental health issues. Through tackling a rapidly growing problem with a huge social cost, and one which has been clearly identified as critically important by employees, clients, stakeholders and the wider funds management industry, the end goal is to support efforts to reduce suicide rates amongst young people in particular. Research undertaken in 2018 by Beyond Blue demonstrates that suicide remains the leading cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15 and 44.

R U OK? offers an exemplary and unique platform for suicide prevention awareness and community development. As a provider of public campaigns with wide national appeal and an increasing following, the organisation's strategy is based on strengthening suicide protective factors (specifically, connectedness and a sense of belonging). All activity is designed and delivered through drawing on innovative and best-practice expertise, evaluation, marketing and communication principles.

Raise Foundation: aligned with Resolution Capital Limited

Read more

Discussions within Resolution Capital have identified the desire to focus on the broad theme of helping disadvantaged young people, with the aim of partnering with several organisations addressing different aspects of disadvantage.

Raise Foundation aims to help create thriving communities across Australia through best practice mentoring programs that empower young people to become resilient, capable and connected.

For more than 10 years it has been Raise's mission to attract and recruit volunteers from local communities, upskill them and then take them into public secondary schools to connect one-on-one with young people in need. This has given those young people the opportunity to experience, often for the first time, a confiding and supportive relationship - one of the single best predictors of psychological health and vitality amongst young people.

In support of Raise, the Foundation and Resolution Capital will be funding the delivery of mentoring to 10 young people in the south western suburbs of Sydney at Belmore Boys High School and Canterbury Boys High School. Mentoring will be delivered through Raise's established In-school Mentoring Program (“Ismo”), which is conducted over 22 weeks and is supported by professionally trained counsellors.

Yalari Limited: aligned with Resolution Capital Limited

Read more

As noted above, Resolution Capital is partnering with several organisations addressing different aspects of disadvantage experienced by young people across Australia.

One of these entities is Yalari, which has maintained an unwavering commitment for over 10 years to provide quality educational opportunities to Indigenous children from remote, rural and regional areas of Australia and the Torres Strait Islands. Scholarships commencing in Year 7 are currently offered at one of Yalari’s 26 partner boarding schools across Australia, with Yalari providing holistic support and guidance through to Year 12 and beyond.

In 2019 Resolution Capital and the Foundation will together support Yalari’s 13th Orientation Camp, which is the starting point for all new Year 7 students embarking on their boarding school journey. The Camp paves the way for a smooth transition from primary education and living at home to a secondary education at a boarding school. Year 7 students are given the opportunity to learn about boarding school life in an environment where they feel safe, can be inquisitive and share the journey with fellow students.

The Orientation Camp provides appropriate mechanisms for dealing with the different circumstances students may encounter at boarding schools, and gives Year 8 students the opportunity to share their first year journey with our new students to strengthen the bond between all students. In addition, selected senior school students (Year 11 or 12) have a leadership opportunity as Camp leaders, role models and mentors to the new Year 7 and returning Year 8 students. Yalari alumni return to Camp as volunteers and ‘give back’ to Yalari, and help ensure the Yalari student and alumni cohort remains strong, supportive, committed and inclusive.