What Heads of Fundraising Need to Know about PAFs & PuAFs

You’re the Head of Fundraising at your organisation and a Subscriber to the PafGUIDE®. When you log in to the database, there are over 2,700 active entries of Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs) and Public Ancillary Funds (PuAFs). Each entry represents a potential opportunity to secure funding for your organisation, but it is important to take the following into consideration before proceeding with your PAF/PuAF engagement.


Every entry in the PafGUIDE® is individually and comprehensively researched, so there is a lot of information to read through, and over 90% of entries in the guide include contact details. The list of Directors and other Board Members of the PAF/PuAF is highly useful; these are the key decision makers, and any existing linkage between yourself and the people of your organisation and those of the PAF/PuAF is key to developing an engagement strategy.

The geographic scope of funding, which might differ from the geographic location of the PAF/PuAF, and the philanthropic track record, indicate which states of Australia (and/or other countries) the PAF/PuAF has provided funding to in the past, and the types of charities and causes the PAF/PuAF has previously supported. You will find some PAFs/PuAFs only fund to one state or cause, while others fund nation-wide (and internationally) to multiple causes.

Read the useful blog article, Simple Steps to Achieving Success with PAFs, for a framework on how to assess the likelihood of a PAF or PuAF supporting your cause.


A PAF/PuAF engagement strategy is a long-term investment, as is any major gift fundraising initiative. There needs to be a process for how your organisation works with your donors. The Guide helps your organisation find and focus on the leads that will provide the biggest return. From there, your organisation must successfully engage with PAF/PuAF Directors, ask — in the right way — for funding for your important cause/s, receive gift/s, and thank them. The ask (beginning the relationship) can be the most difficult part, and AskRIGHT is here to help.

Identifying the PAFs/PuAFs that are most likely to support your organisation’s mission is important to save your fundraising team’s time and efforts. By narrowing down the list of PAFs/PuAFs — using the features of the PafGUIDE® — to those that are most likely to be receptive early on, can help jumpstart a fundraising initiative. Information in the PafGUIDE® can be filtered with an array of categories for types of causes (eg. Health, Education, Welfare, Environment, and so on), and, with a free text search bar, you can further narrow the list down with more specific keyword search terms. Some organisations are surprised to find funds in the database who have donated to their organisation in the past, which they are not currently aware of; it’s always a good strategy to re-engage past donors.


Cold calling is a tempting mistake for those seeking major gift fundraising donations and for users of the PafGUIDE® with contact details readily available. Unfortunately, cold calling rarely produces results and hinders any future engagement with the donor organisation and its board. As Head of Fundraising, it is critical to be donor-centric in everything you do. You must carefully consider the individual donor and the cause/s they seek to support. Awareness and trust must be built with PAF/PuAF trustees over time, which is not possible through cold solicitations. All elements of the Donor Giving Cycle are critical to moving from identification to closing a major fundraising gift.


Finally, the “thank you” is the most important part of the cycle. Thanking your donor/s not only shows your appreciation, but it keeps the trustee/s positively engaged so that they can renew their giving in the future. Continuing to foster positive experience — such as inviting the trustee/s to events — is a way to further demonstrate appreciativeness and keep them engaged.