Not just cheap talk – seven Federal budget measures that will strengthen all charities

The not-for-profit sector is too important to the Australian economy to be neglected in the forthcoming Federal budget.  Talk about support for the sector is cheap – real investment that strengthens the sector is what is needed’ says Community Council for Australia CEO, David Crosbie.

Speaking at the release of the CCA pre-budget submission, Mr Crosbie pointed out that the charities and not-for-profit sector is critical to the economy and to all Australian communities.

‘Our sector employs one million Australians and turns over around $1 billion per annum.  We are often treated as the ‘third sector’ behind government and business, but it is increasingly important for governments to increase their investment in this sector if we are to build a resilient and productive society for all Australians.  In tough times we need more, not less capacity in our not-for-profit sector.  Cutting charities hurts us all in the long run.’

The CCA submission outlines a seven point $35 million dollar plan to reduce red tape and improve productivity for the sector over the coming three years.  Recommendations include:

  • providing Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status to all registered charities (initial exemption for churches and schools)
  • establishing a Centre for Excellence in NFP Effectiveness (as recommended by the Productivity Commission) drawing upon expertise from Australia’s best NFP researchers.
  • establishing a Social Finance Taskforce (as recommended by the Senate Economics References Committee) to identify and promote better access to capital for NFPs.
  • ensuring an independent process in determining charitable status and in driving government red tape reduction by further supporting and developing the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)
  • increasing Government commitment to and support of philanthropy by re-establishing the Prime Minister’s Community Business partnership; providing support to allow employers to establish ‘opt out’ systems of workplace giving to NFPs based on a 0.5 per cent salary sacrifice; providing an initial grant totaling $1 million to establish infrastructure that supports direct giving through mobile phone billing; and establishing a NFP bank drawing on dead money accounts to support capacity building in NFP organisations
  • implementing the recommendations of the Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (CAMAC) into the administration of Charitable Trusts.
  • supporting the development of a Future Blueprint for the NFP Sector
  • supporting the development of an independent, closed feedback loop to monitor and evaluate the health of the relationship between government and NFPs.