Traditionally, the favoured plants for most scientific research are agricultural species and it is a sad fact that more is known about introduced species than Australia's native species. To address this problem, ANPSA (mainly through its NSW Region) was instrumental in setting up the Australian Flora Foundation in 1981 with the aim of fostering research into the biology and cultivation of Australian plants.
Each year a call for applications is made in which researchers are asked to submit projects for funding; anyone in Australia may apply. Projects are assessed on scientific rigour, likelihood of success, originality and importance of, and need for, this research by the Foundation's Scientific Research Committee, ensuring that donations are used in the most effective way. Garden plants, export industries, bio-resources, conservation are all within the scope of the Foundation, but all are related and research in one area can have results which are useful in other areas.
The Foundation keeps in touch with researchers and follows the research work through a progress report and a final report which is published by the Foundation. You may purchase the final research reports which are issued annually.
Every cent in every dollar donated to the Research Fund goes to the researchers' projects. Volunteers do the administration so expenses are kept to a minimum. Even members of the Scientific Research Committee work voluntarily in approving projects for funding.
Research sponsors can specify the field of research their contribution is to go to, or sponsor a whole research project or donate any amount they wish to the Research Fund. The Foundation is an excellent channel for directing private, group or corporate funds into research on Australian plants.
Corporations, bush regenerators, plant scientists, home gardeners, plant nurseries, societies, bushwalkers, amateur botanists, conservationists - anyone who has an interest in Australian plants - all kinds of people, groups and corporations promote research through the Foundation, which is an independent, national organisation. Members contribute to the work of the Foundation. Directors are elected annually by the Members. Research Sponsors give money to the Foundation's Research Fund for research into Australian plants. (There are various ways of providing sponsorship. The Foundation is pleased to discuss ideas. For example: for individuals who would like to contribute, but find themselves unable to do so, a bequest is a way of making that contribution.)
Donations over $2 are tax deductible. The Foundation is an "Approved Research Institute" as defined in the Income Tax Assessment Act.
Details regarding donations or requests for grant applications can be found on the Foundation's website.