Advocacy Updates

As the peak body for philanthropy we actively undertake policy advocacy to support more and better giving in Australia and represent our members on important sector issues. We work closely with Federal and State Governments to develop their understanding of the philanthropic sector, and to promote the development of effective policy frameworks to grow and support giving.  

Here are monthly advocacy updates from our team to educate and inform our members and the broader community with resources and further information. 


31 May 2022:  Philanthropy Australia welcomes the appointment of Dr Andrew Leigh to the charity portfolio

Philanthropy Australia enthusiastically welcomes the appointment of Dr Andrew Leigh as the Labor Government’s Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, following his outstanding leadership in the Shadow Charities portfolio since 2016. 

Philanthropy Australia CEO, Mr Jack Heath said: “Dr Leigh has made an outstanding contribution in shaping Labor’s strong platform on charities and philanthropic giving.”

During the election campaign, Dr Leigh announced that an Albanese Labor Government would work together with the philanthropic, for-purpose and business sectors to develop a strategy to double philanthropic giving to Australian charities by 2030. 

Mr Heath said “This commitment could be transformative for Australia.  Doubling giving would see billions of new dollars flowing into the charitable sector.  Ultimately, it means more support for people in greatest need, and more funding to address the greatest challenges our country faces.”

“Dr Leigh has built a deep knowledge of the people and organisations who make up the philanthropic and for-purpose sectors. He understands what it takes for programs to deliver real impact over the long term. He has been a fearless and constant champion of the right to advocate. Dr Leigh has built enormous trust and respect across our sectors.”, said Mr Heath.

Philanthropy Australia looks forward to working with Dr Leigh on the shared endeavour to double giving, drawing on the policy reforms and initiatives in our Election Statement and our Blueprint to Double Giving.


23 May 2022: Congratulations to Anthony Albanese and the new Federal Government, in what was also a good night for the Australian Greens and Independents across Australia.



What does all this mean for the cause of philanthropy?  

Since October last year, Philanthropy Australia has been engaging across the Parliament and with the Federal Treasury on our Election Statement, and we’ve received commitments to both of its key elements.

The Result

In the March Budget, the Coalition Government announced historic Community Foundations reforms.
On 7 April, Labor committed to the centrepiece of the PA Election Statement. Dr Andrew Leigh announced an Albanese Government will work with the philanthropic, for-purpose and business sectors to develop a Strategy to double philanthropic giving by 2030.  

This is a huge opportunity to create a more generous and giving Australia.

  • A major national conversation should lead to a better understanding about the impact philanthropy can achieve in Parliament and across Australian society. Ultimately, this should lead to a more generous and giving culture in Australia, where all of us, particularly Australians more fortunately placed, give what we can afford to support our fellow citizens in need. 
  • It is a chance to make the case for the policy reforms to spur giving. For instance, giving Australians the choice through their superannuation arrangements to leave some money to charity upon their passing would unleash billions, and we could ensure many more of Australia’s 58,000 charities got DGR status, not just half. 
  • Labor has indicated it is supportive of:
    • Community Foundations reform
    • Fix Fundraising
    • A Not-for-Profit Freedom to Advocate Act
    • Potentially a National Giving Campaign
    • Developing a Blueprint for the charity sector with an Expert Reference Panel including representation from the philanthropic sector. 
  • Treasury has run an engagement process on Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs) distributing to Public Ancillary Funds (PuAFs), so that reform may also be within reach.

Doubling giving would mean around $13 billion in additional investment each year to address our greatest challenges, like children and families living in poverty, climate change, health, education and justice for Australia’s First Peoples. It would be transformational for our nation.

Relevant links for further information

  1. Philanthropy Australia Blueprint to Grow Structured Giving
  2. Read our 2022 Election Statement which has more detail on the case to double giving, and the policy and sector initiatives that can get us there.
  3. Read our Advocacy Updates to learn more about these key policy announcements.

7 April 2022: On 7 April 2022, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charity, the Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP, announced Labor’s commitment to work with the philanthropic, for-purpose and business sectors to develop a strategy for philanthropy, with the aim of doubling giving in Australia by 2030.  This announcement picked up the central element of the Philanthropy Australia Election Statement, released in December 2021.

  • Philanthropy Australia’s media release is here.
  • A Philanthropy Weekly article by Sam Rosevear and Krystian Seibert on the potential impact of this commitment, and on the announcement event at the Community of Giving Hub in East Melbourne, is here.
  • A Pro Bono article on the announcement is here.
  • Labor’s media release is here.
  • Dr Leigh’s announcement speech is here.

29 March 2022 - Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Michael Sukkar MP, announces historic community foundations reform in the Federal Budget

In the 2022-23 Federal Budget, the Government announced historic reforms to support community foundations.  This picked up a key element of the Philanthropy Australia Election Statement, released in December 2021.

  • Philanthropy Australia’s media release is here.
  • A Philanthropy Weekly article by Sam Rosevear and Krystian Seibert explaining the reforms and their benefits is here.
  • A Pro Bono article on the reforms is available here.
  • Minister Sukkar’s media release is here.

25 February 2022: New Public Ancillary Fund Guidelines Come Into Effect

The new guidelines do not introduce any new regulatory requirements, with concerning changes in the draft guidelines removed. Philanthropy Australia appreciates the responsiveness of Assistant Treasurer, his advisers and the Treasury to our submission and direct representations.

  • Philanthropy Australia’s submission is available here.
  • The new guidelines are available here.

December 2021: Philanthropy Australia releases 2022 Election Statement

In December 2021, Philanthropy Australia released its Election Statement which 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. To give the process momentum, Philanthropy Australia recommended reforms to provide Item 1 DGR status for Community Foundations.

Philanthropy Australia’s Election Statement is available here.

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