2022 Election Statement

A National Action Plan to Double Philanthropic Giving to Australian Charities by 2030

Philanthropy Australia calls on all political parties and candidates to commit to a grand national initiative – working with Philanthropy Australia and the philanthropic, not-for-profit and business sectors on a policy development process aimed at doubling philanthropic giving by 2030. 

The summary of the 2022 Election Statement is available here and Full Report here.

Now is the time to act to create a more generous and giving Australia.

  • Philanthropy supports the charities that change millions of people’s lives every year.
  • Philanthropy also kickstarts innovations that become crucial institutions in society.
  • Philanthropy helps achieve a better sharing of wealth and opportunity in Australia.  For instance, sharing more of the $480 billion in wealth owned by Australia's Top 200 could expand opportunity for Australians in greatest need.
  • At a time when governments are facing massive fiscal pressures, philanthropy can step up to provide smart, cost-effective support for Australians in need.
  • Philanthropy can empower communities to shape their own futures.  People can and want to take on the responsibility to get involved in donating, volunteering and participating in projects to help their local community thrive.
  • Charities are an important part of the nation's economy.  In 2019, they employed 1.38 million people, or 11 per cent of Australia's workforce, more than the retail or construction sectors, with revenue of $166 billion and assets of $354 billion.  Around 3.6 million Australians volunteered in 2019. 
  • Creating a philanthropic culture builds a nation many Australians yearn for - one in which we recognise we are all in it together, we do our bit to support people in need, and together we solve our biggest challenges.  The bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic have reminded Australians that we are stronger when we work together and people are eager to play their part in building a stronger future.

We have an unparalleled opportunity to draw on our rising wealth to increase giving to our most important causes. 

  • Over the next two decades, $2.6 trillion is expected to pass to the next generation. If we could pass 10-20 per cent to charity, this would unleash $260-520 billion to support the most crucial causes in our society. 

Reforms are available to deliver billions to charities, many of them low cost, red tape reduction initiatives.

  1. Community Foundations (CFs): Empower and support charity in regional and local communities by cutting the red tape that prevents CFs from investing in many charitable activities and receiving grants from Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs).
  2. Encouraging Bequests from Superannuation: Cut the red tape that prevents Australians from making a bequest to charity through their superannuation and remove the tax penalty imposed on Australians who want to do so, to free up billions for Australians most in need.
  3. Creating an Incentive to Leave a 'Living' Bequest to Charity: A Living Legacy Trust would help ensure more of the $2.6 trillion intergenerational transfer is used to support Australians in greatest need.
  4. A National, Co-Funded Campaign to Build a Culture of Giving in Australia: A campaign to inspire Australians and give them simple ways to give could help unleash the ‘fair-go’ ethos that is an essential part of the Australian identity.
  5. Fix Fundraising: Create a single national fundraising regulation regime – to replace the red tape imposed by seven different State and Territory sets of rules – to reduce administration costs, releasing more funds to help people in need.
  6. DGR Reform: Reform red tape so more of Australia's 58,000 charities can access DGR status (which allows the public to donate and get a tax deduction), rather than just around 30,000 charities.
  7. Supporting Philanthropy by the Public: Cut the red tape that prevents PAFs from distributing to Public Ancillary Funds (PuAFs), which would boost funds for foundations supported by the general public.

The sector will complement government actions to create a culture and practice of giving.

The policy process can be complemented by sector-led action to expand giving, drawing on initiatives developed in Philanthropy Australia’s A Blueprint to Grow Structured Giving (April 2021), available here.

Together, we can create new possibilities for Australian society. Now is the time for a clear and bold strategic direction and an action plan to lift philanthropic giving to better support Australians in need.

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