Media Release: Marginal seat survey – charities are a vote changer

Marginal seat survey – charities are a vote changer

A pre-election survey of over 3,400 voters across the 20 most marginal electorates in Australia conducted for the Community Council for Australia (CCA) by Piazza Research found that: 

  • 91% of voters are involved in charities
  • 91% say charities are important to their community and our future
  • 84% of voters want donations to all registered charities to be tax deductible
  • 57% of undecided electors are likely vote for candidates who want government to work better with charities
  • Over 75% of those surveyed want government to fix fundraising regulations across Australia.

Releasing the new survey findings, David Crosbie, CEO of the CCA said, ‘Voters are very clearly involved with charities and see charities as important to their communities and Australia’s future.  They also clearly expect their politicians to do more than pay lip service to supporting charities.

When asked what needs to change, Mr Crosbie said ‘Charities struggle with political favouritism in grant programs and the lack of longer-term planning.  Charities are constantly told they have to compete in artificial marketplaces.  Governments generally make charities wait quietly outside the back door for instructions while the important decisions are made inside the main house without them. Business and vested interests seem to have the ear of government, not charities.  Charities just want a fair go.’

Charities employ over 1.3 million staff or 11% of the Australian workforce, engage 3.5 million volunteers, turn over more than $160 billion each year (8.5% of GDP) and hold around $300 billion in assets.   

CCA has called for a dedicated Minister for Charities in the next government committed to working with charities in developing sector wide planning and support across critical areas like digital transformation, workforce and leadership, philanthropy and investment, volunteering and fundraising reform. 

Rev Tim Costello AO, Chair of CCA said; ‘If we want a prosperous country, we need to move beyond short-term political decision-making and involve charities and community groups in planning and implementing programs to build a better Australia.  Voters understand that charities matter.  Governments need to show they also understand the critical role of charities in our health and wellbeing, productivity, our environment, our creativity and spirituality, and the capacity to achieve the kind of Australia we all want to live in.’ 

NB. The full report on each electorate is here.

CCA is hosting a pre-election charities forum at 2.00pm on 12/5 at the Melbourne Convention Centre where all the major parties have been invited to present their vision for the charities sector.  The ALP and Greens will present to over 200 charities registered for the event as part of the Connecting Up Conference.