Kate Kennedy, Hagar Australia CEO with Jon Faine

Who should be supporting the arts, science and charities?

In the USA, philanthropy underpins so many areas of important research and creative endeavour, from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the donations of every day Americans.

Today Jon Faine hosted a special Conversation Hour forum to investigate whether philanthropy is working here in Australia.

Are we a giving, or a greedy society?

You shared your views, from stories of generous donations and volunteering, to those of you who feel you already pay too much tax and that the state should be doing more to support people in need.

Perhaps the strongest reaction was from callers describing their frustration at being pressured to give more: phone calls from call centres pitching reasons to increase a monthly donation, or the so-called chuggers, ‘charity muggers’ who accost you in the street.

But overwhelmingly your response today told a story of generosity.

With thanks our panel today:

Kate Kennedy, CEO of Hagar Australia. She was formerly Program Director of the Pratt Foundation.

Carol Schwartz AM is a business leader with many senior positions across industries, also a philanthropist, founding chair and lead investor of Our Community (an Australian company founded to enhance social good).

Michael Short is Editor of The Zone at The Age newspaper, and former executive business editor at same. He was also founding editor-in-chief of Bloomberg Television France.