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10 August 2017

Philanthropy is a powerful way to meet the needs of a community. It unites those with capacity and those with an opportunity – and there is a science behind it!

In our organisation we have a Philanthropy Committee who explore opportunities to give grants, give time and give goods in Australia and New Zealand. Our Philanthropy Liaison shares advice on the ‘art and science’ to strategic programs and strategic giving through a simple why, what, when and how approach:

“Why? Why are you important and why is your ‘ask’ the best way to improve community outcomes? Why is this part of your long-term strategy? Articulating this is important – it demonstrates a method to your thinking and commitment. It also means potential partners can add unexpected value and advice on other ways you can achieve your goals.

What? Remember that corporate partners can offer more than money. Be clear on what you need, yet flexible enough to consider alternatives.

When? Be clear on project timelines. It is ok to hold corporate partners accountable for the promises they make – as you will be held accountable too.

How? It may be necessary for corporations to understand how you will achieve goals to ensure they are supporting compliant and responsible initiatives. Be open about your plans. Prepare a timeline on how and when you will track and communicate success. Clear goals aid clear expectations.”

This National Science Week we want to celebrate science, the difference it makes to the community, provide stories about some of our inventions and introduce you to members of our team. You can share your stories below, or on twitter. Tag #medtechscience, #natsciwk

MEET A MEMBER OF OUR TEAM:  Mary CanningMary canning003

Role: Director of Marketing – Respiratory & Monitoring Solutions and Early Technologies

Qualifications: BSc Psychology and Respiratory Therapy

Tenure with Medtronic: 10 years

What are the key learnings you have applied in your personal and professional life? Science is logical and I believe I have been able to apply logic in the decisions I make professionally and personally – well at least until my son turned 16.

In your mind, what is the connection between science and philanthropy?  Philanthropic generosity facilitates the great work scientists and researchers do in advancing medical technology.  Not dissimilar to what our Mission drives us to focus on strategically; charitable groups also have a strategic approach to their activities.

What did you enjoy most about studying science? I realised very quickly when I was in Respiratory Therapy that what I did made a difference in people’s lives – when you see the person you treated in the Intensive Care Unit walk out of the hospital with their family – it is very humbling to know you were part of that.  That awareness is still there today and is top of mind in everything I do in my professional life.

What is your advice to women in STEM? We are all aware of the statistics related to women in STEM. Our environment facilitates the struggle that is experienced when women are at the stage of their lives when they believe that conflicting choices need to be made – career vs family.  Women should never resign themselves to thinking it needs to be one or the other.  The balance can be achieved – we are wired for it.  Do not underestimate what you can accomplish – if you want it, go for it.

To learn more about National Science Week visit

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