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EDITION 7, 2010 The official news from www.givenow.com.au

Give More, Give Smarter, Give Better, Give Now!

Slow-motion Tsunami: Pakistan floods - how you can help Page 5

The Library Builder: Meet the man behind 7 million books Page 4

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GiveNow About Us: GiveNow News is the official newsletter of GiveNow.com.au (proudly supported by ) dedicated to helping Australians give more, give smarter and give better. GiveNow.com.au is an initiative of the Our Community Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation established by Our Community to catalyse funding for Australian community groups and to transform the community sector through greater efficiencies and effectiveness. This newsletter has been produced with the support of the Liberman Family Foundation. Publisher: Our Community Foundation National Headquarters 51 Stanley Street West Melbourne VIC 3003 Australia (PO Box 354 North Melbourne VIC 3051) Telephone (03) 9320 6838 Fax (03) 9326 6859 service@givenow.com.au www.ourcommunity.com.au/foundation ISSN 1441-8947 Editorial Content: Mind Film and Publishing www.mindfp.com.au Telephone 0409999529 Copyright: © Our Community Foundation. This is a free newsletter and we would like it to be distributed as widely as possible. Please feel free to send it on. If you want to use the individual articles, however, you’ll need to ask our permission (we almost always give it). Email your request to service@givenow.com.au The articles in GiveNow News do not necessarily reflect the views of the Our Community Foundation, its staff or members. The purpose of this publication is to provide ideas, inspiration and best practice examples. We are not responsible for any actions taken by, or losses suffered by, any person on the basis of, or in reliance upon, any information in this newsletter, nor for any omission or error. We welcome your input: We welcome your article ideas, input and feedback. Email service@givenow.com.au Production schedule: GiveNow News is distributed monthly via email. This Issue Published:August 2010

GiveNow.com.au We all want to give, but sometimes it’s hard to know how to get started. GiveNow.com.au is Australia’s most user-friendly giving portal – a place where you can put your dollars to work to start building the kind of world you want to live in. No money? No worries! Through GiveNow.com.au you can also find out how to give time, blood, clothes, blankets, computers, mobile phones, bikes, even corks! Log on to find the tools, ideas, inspiring stories and practical tips you need to convert your good intentions into action.

t START GIVING t READ THE GiveNow MANIFESTO

Can’t find your favourite community group on GiveNow.com.au? Encourage them to sign up for commission free online donations today.

WHY GIVENOW.COM.AU? • Access to a secure donations service. Setting up a secure online donations service is extremely costly. We provide this service to your community group for free. • New audience of potential donors. We partner with many high-traffic websites to bring your organisation and its message to a broad pool of potential donors. We also undertake many awareness raising and other promotional activities to push traffic into the GiveNow.com.au website. • Minimise overhead costs. Donors give online with their credit card and we remit this money directly to your group’s account. We will even issue the receipts on your group’s behalf! • No membership fees or commissions. Our service is free of any charges from us. We take no commission or fee-for-service. It’s our way of giving back! We only deduct from donations the credit card fees, which have been negotiated at a lower-thannormal rate for groups using the GiveNow.com.au service.

t Find out more at www.ourcommunity.com.au/receivedonations

Our Commitment to Corporate Responsibility: In line with the Australian Institute for Corporate Responsibility (AICR) model actions for achieving environmental sustainability, this publication is produced for online distribution. Where a hard copy is requested, we use 100% recycled paper. Our Commitment to Accessibility: We are committed to ensuring our resources are accessible. This newsletter is available to subscribers in alternative formats on request. Email service@givenow.com.au Front cover image used with permission from The Social Studio - www.socialstudio.org

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GIVING TIP: GIVE BLOOD One in three people will need donated blood at some stage in their lives. But only one in 30 people currently give blood.

W What’s On? AUGUST: 31/8: International Overdose Awareness Day t GIVENOW SEPTEMBER: 1/9-1/30: Save the Koala Month t GIVENOW Order a FREE Fundraising e-Kit All donations or fundraising efforts of $30 and over will receive a personalised koala certificate t HELP OUT

All blood components have a short shelf life so Australia’s blood banks need a constant blood supply. To ensure that blood is always available for people dealing with cancer, those who have been involved in accidents, burn victims and those who need to undergo surgery, consider becoming a blood donor. If you are over 16 (but under 70), fit, healthy and weigh over 50 kilograms you may be eligible to join the generous Australians who already regularly donate.

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1/9-1/30: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month t GIVENOW Prostate Cancer Foundation BBQ Kit - $20 1 x stubby holder, 1 x bbq tongs, 1 x chef apron, branded paper napkins t BUY

12/9-18/9: Foster Care Week t GIVENOW 15/9-25/9: Dementia Awareness Week t GIVENOW 19/9: Clean up the World Day t GIVENOW MORE EVENTS: t http://www.ourcommunity.com.au/calendar/

What’s Hot:

What’s Not:

Publicist Kristy Fraser-Kirk’s $37 million sexual harassment lawsuit against David Jones, its board and its former chief executive could result in a windfall for the community sector. In her statement of claim, Fraser-Kirk said any punitive damages she won “would be paid to charity assisting persons in the area of sexual harassment and bullying as nominated by the applicant”. Meanwhile, designer Alannah Hill held a one-day “sorry sale” to atone for her off-colour comment in the wake of the scandal, raising $178,000 for the White Ribbon Foundation.

Slacktivism describes “feel-good” measures in support of an issue or social cause that require little personal effort and have little or no practical effect, other than to make the person doing it feel satisfaction. Slacktivist activities include wearing “awareness” wristbands, joining a Facebook group or signing an internet petition without much thought or understanding of the issues.

WOMEN’S CHARITIES:

SLACKTIVISM:

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CAMPAIGN CRUSADER JOHN WOOD, Room to Read

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hile trekking in the Himalayas in 2000, Microsoft executive John Wood visited a school. He was appalled to find that the library consisted of a cupboard with four adult books – in English and Italian. On an impulse, he wrote an email to 100 people in his contact list, asking them to send children’s books to his father’s home in the United States. One month later, his father asked him what he was supposed to do with the 3000 books sitting on his doorstep. That was the moment that John decided to throw away his career with Microsoft to instead help children condemned to illiteracy because of lack of resources. Ten years on, the founder of Room To Read has delivered an extraordinary 7 million books, as well as building 1000 schools and 10,000 libraries. John has also established a local language publishing program to counter the fact that 98% of the estimated 1 billion people (including children) who are illiterate are in the developing world.

The Australian chapter of Room To Read was launched in February last year. It has raised nearly $2m in that time through two huge events and corporate donations. As awareness grows, the volunteer base grows, as well as the number of committed companies and foundations. Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are three of more than 45 chapters around the world. Other fundraising groups have been established in Canberra, Adelaide and Perth. “Everyone on the team here works pro bono. But it’s run like a business. It is very professional,” says Jenny Orchard, Foundation Director, Room to Read, Australia. As a person whose life was profoundly influenced by the libraries in my school and my home town, I cannot think of a happier set of numbers than these: over 4 million children visiting 10,000 libraries stocked with over 7 million books.”

John Wood, Room to Read blog

In Australia recently to open the Melbourne chapter of Room to Read, John said that his aim was to reach 10 million kids. He thinks big, he said, because the problem is big. “Anyone who has money has an education to thank,” he said. “If you drop off a bag of rice, in a week, they will need another bag of rice. If you educate – that goes on generation after generation.” Delivering the books can be challenging. But Wood’s philosophy is to use whatever local resources are available, even if that means using the backs of yaks in the Nepalese Himalayas. The foundation is also committed to hiring smart local people who can engage the local community.

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PAKISTAN FLOODS A “slow-motion tsunami” THE FACTS Since flooding began in Pakistan’s northwest a month ago, more than 1600 people have died, a fifth of the country is under water and more than 8 million people are in need of emergency assistance. In excess of 750,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed and 20 million people – close to Australia’s population – have been affected across the country. And it’s far from over.

POOR RELIEF EFFORTS United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has claimed the “slowmotion tsunami” in Pakistan is “one of the greatest tests of global solidarity in our times.” Yet it seems the global community is failing miserably. Donations to aid agencies have lagged far behind the extraordinary responses to other recent natural disasters around the world. Compared to the $10 million World Vision raised in the weeks following the Haiti earthquake in January, chief executive Tim Costello has lamented that only $785,000 had been raised in the three weeks since flooding in Pakistan began. Insufficient media coverage is one reason for the slow response. Locally, Australia’s preoccupation with the federal election has been a distraction. A lack of hard-hitting, dramatic broadcast footage, as well as complacency over the relatively small death toll, has also been cited as factors in the poor response.

PREJUDICE AND PERCEPTIONS OF CORRUPTION Latent prejudices against Pakistan as a Muslim country have also been blamed for the Western world’s disappointing response. Aid workers have also referred to the “Pakistan factor”: the country’s links to the Taliban, war in Afghanistan and nuclear weapons testing. There has also been reluctance to

channel money through the Pakistani government, which some view as untrustworthy. The country’s current leader has been criticised for his handling of the disaster so far.

WHAT’S NEEDED The special United Nations envoy for Pakistan’s flood disaster has said billions of dollars are required in order for the country to respond to the immediate emergency and further billions will be needed for the recovery and reconstruction in the months and years ahead. As in the aftermath of any disaster, serious health risks have followed the initial death toll and destruction. The threat of a cholera epidemic is very real, as water-borne diseases spread easily when water sources are contaminated. Clean water, hygiene supplies, sanitation kits, food and shelter are the top priorities at this stage of the emergency. Housing, infrastructure and agricultural reconstruction present almost overwhelming tasks for the Pakistani military and aid agencies on the ground. In the long term, programs like stockpiling emergency supplies, drawing up disaster plans, educating communities and establishing early warning systems are also critically needed.

THE AUSTRALIAN RESPONSE Naeem Haq, spokesperson for Australian Pakistani community group PakOz, believes that many members of local Pakistani

community are giving to the large aid agencies, rather than donating to the Pakistani government-run fund. Some are also trying to get financial aid directly into the hands of affected family and friends but, given the chaotic circumstances, that’s proving near impossible. He says Ramadan has given the wider Muslim community an increased focus on giving generously but has also negatively impacted the community’s ability to organise a co-ordinated fundraising response. On August 17, the Australian Government increased its financial commitment to $35 million. The money will go towards supporting emergency humanitarian relief efforts in the worst affected provinces.

MATERIAL AID Blankets, clothing and other goods are not being accepted by the major aid agencies at this time. The Consulate General of Pakistan has established a flood relief collection point in Sydney for tents, shoes, medicines, clothing and other items.

WHAT YOU CAN DO Aid agencies need financial assistance to deliver emergency supplies, secure safe drinking water and restore sanitation before the spread of disease takes hold. Ensure your donation counts by giving now to any of the aid agencies’ Pakistani flood relief appeals listed on the GiveNow emergency giving page.

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GIVING DOCTOR

with the arts improves academic performance, basic skills and selfdiscipline in school-aged children. It has positive therapeutic effects on the mental and physical health of the elderly, caregivers and the ailing. And as a forum for social interaction it creates a sense of community identity and spirit, fostering social cohesion.

extended season of amateur Shakespeare. As one arts patron countered, “A world without art is just as poor.”

Q: I’d like to give to an arts organisation but feel like I should be fighting world poverty instead. Are the arts a worthy cause?

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hen it comes down to it, our giving habits are influenced by what we care about. A love of the outdoors might lead to support for environmental conservation. A first-hand experience in a developing country might prompt us to sponsor a child. The same can be said for patrons of the arts, whose “care factor” is best described as “passion”. At face value, it’s not a word we’d normally associate with bringing relief to someone or something in need. But a passion for the arts amounts to much more than an

The arts – which describe creative endeavours and disciplines in visual arts, literature and the performing arts (music, drama, dance and film) – offer immeasurable benefits to society.

SMALL ACTS

ARTS FOR ART’S SAKE Intrinsically, the arts give meaning and a distinct type of pleasure and emotional stimulation that transports us out of our reality and connects us more deeply with the world around us. They inspire, thrill and challenge us emotionally and intellectually, increasing our capacity for empathy, creative thought and communal bonding.

ARTS FOR HEALTH’S SAKE The arts are also an instrument for economic benefit and social outcome. Research shows that an engagement

While the major state and national arts companies are bolstered by corporate sponsorship, partnerships and government funding, smaller grassroots arts outfits rely on local government grants, private donations and community support. Distributions from foundations and trusts are a valuable source of funding crucial to the organisation’s growth and sustainability.

BEHIND THE SCENES Project funding is not always what the players are seeking. Before the curtain

in the act of creativity that empowerment lies, “andIt isthrough sharing creativity that understanding and social inclusiveness are promoted.” Francois Matarasso, 1997

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GiveNow’s register of Arts and Culture causes offers a colourful snapshot of arts organisations and their range of different funding requirements: The Adelaide Youth Orchestra Fund is raising funds to provide young musicians with tutorials, scholarships, discounted concert tickets and purchase of orchestral instruments.

rises there’s research, development, production tools (from computers to stage lights), promotional material, professional consultancies and infrastructure. Seating for a new performance space or the installation of a new computer system can make all the difference. Non project-based arts organisations seek funding for education, outreach, publicity and preservation of existing works.

YOUR ROLE

radio, collecting the works of an emerging artist or providing space to a community arts program won’t cost you a fortune but might mean the world to those on the receiving end. Offering your professional skills pro bono can save expensive consultancy fees. Passing on office furniture, art materials and even significant artworks can make a critical difference to not just one group’s creative output, but also the wellbeing of the wider community.

You don’t need to be a Guggenheim to make a valuable contribution to the arts. Subscribing to community

t COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE t GIVENOW TO THE ARTS

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The Australian Rock Art Research Association uses funds for educational programs and research into the causes and amelioration of Indigenous rock art deterioration.t GIVE NOW Community Radio 2XX 98.3fm wants to fund their active community radio station, providing a voice for the voiceless. t GIVE NOW Rawcus, an ensemble of performers with and without disabilities, is hoping for support to fund a new work called Small Odysseys.

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VicHealth recently launched a $375,000 investment in 14 new media arts projects aimed at inspiring disadvantaged, socially isolated and culturally diverse Victorians to get creative, make friends and develop new skills. VicHealth supports over 55 arts organisations in Victoria with the aim of increasing health and wellbeing through social interaction and creativity.

THE SONG ROOM The Song Room is a national not-for-profit organisation providing free, tailored, long-term arts-based programs designed to improve students’ educational and social outcomes and help schools create and sustain their own music and arts programs. It reaches 45,000 children each year with sixmonth courses taught by specialist arts teachers on a weekly basis. Programs are targeted at schools with marginalised communities. Last year, in over 200 Song Room schools: • 90% of teachers reported that students were more engaged and enthusiastic in the classroom • 89% of teachers reported that students demonstrated new arts-based skills, knowledge and techniques • 84% of teachers observed increased levels of student self-esteem • 74% of teachers reported increased student ability to concentrate on tasks The Song Room’s recent PlayAir campaign was an example of how the organisation brokers significant non-government funding and resources into schools. The media campaign was developed and designed by leading communications agency BADJAR Ogilvy pro-bono. Executive Creative Director Michael Knox explained that the seven-year affiliation is part of his agency’s commitment to social responsibility: “Support for the arts improves the health of the community – it’s in the national interest.”

t GIVENOW TO THE SONG ROOM t SEE THE PLAY AIR CAMPAIGN

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Who Gives? WHO? Glen Williams, 22

WHERE? North Beach, WA

WHAT?

“The volunteers are fantastic, even and horse riding. “The kids get to those first-timers who are hesitant. experience activities that other kids Watching them grow during the week take for granted,” he explains. is really good to see.” Rather than showering him with Incorporated in 1981, Kids’ Camps Inc. praise and admiration for provides school holiday and weekend assisting those with disabilities, recreation and respite camps for Glen believes everyone should children aged six to 18 years who have “jump on board and lend a hand”. While the experiences, social an intellectual disability. interaction and respite from home t GIVENOW TO KID’S CAMPS and parents is an obvious benefit t COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE for the kids attending camp, Glen says the nearly 200 volunteers that lend their time to Kids’ Camp Inc. also grow from the experience. “You can’t really describe the feeling The kids get you get from being on camp or the to experience experiences that you share. activities You become close because it’s the hardest that other week you’ll kids take for ever have granted” in your life.

Volunteer, Kids’ Camps Inc

WHY? Many people in their twenties spend their time travelling the world or partying with friends; but not Glen Williams. A volunteer for Kids’ Camps Inc., Glen donates his time away from his Education degree at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia to children with intellectual disabilities. Over the past year, Glen has attended four week-long camps and numerous weekend camps, where he has been responsible for children with varying conditions ranging in severity. “Every camp throws up a different challenge and I really enjoy that,” he says of his time chaperoning kids to animal farms, parks, local pools, beaches and even sand-boarding

Every camp “ throws up a different challenge and I really enjoy that”

Photos by PR Photos

Celebs Done Good:

HUGH JACKMAN

KYLIE MINOGUE

SEAN PENN

A lucky bidder will get to work out with the super-fit Hugh Jackman at a private Manhattan gym. Twice! The sessions were auctioned by the Charitybuzz website and proceeds will go to the Summit School in New York for children with special needs. t GIVENOW

In Paris recently, Kylie auctioned her tiny Jean Paul Gaultier black halter neck dress for $25,000. The money raised will assist the American Foundation for AIDS research. t GIVENOW

Since January, Sean Penn has been in Haiti running a camp for 50,000 displaced earthquake survivors. His J/P Haitian Relief Organization has helped thousands with medical aid, safety equipment and water filters. Penn is focussed on creating a sustainable future for Haitians. t GIVENOW

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GIVING BIZZ FOOD NEWS CADBURY Cadbury has committed to investing 1% of profits back into the community this year. By donating money and product, skill sharing and employee volunteering, Cadbury will be supporting its community partners, which include Clown Doctors, Learning Links and Conservation Volunteers. Cadbury, which earlier this year was purchased by US food giant Kraft, has also released its first Fair Trade chocolate bar and launched “Project 50 Years”, a concept that aims to involve Indigenous Australians in its core business activities by setting up Fair Trade cocoa plantations in remote communities.

SANITARIUM Sanitarium continues to support The Good Start Breakfast Club program founded by the Australia Red Cross eight years ago by supplying breakfast cereal and soymilk. With the help of 2000 dedicated volunteers, the program currently serves more than 900,000 breakfasts each year in 250 schools in areas of most need. Last year, Sanitarium staff gave more than 1580 hours of their time donating blood, knitting clothes and blankets for children in Mongolia, serving Meals on Wheels, volunteering at the Southlakes Women’s Refuge and collecting used glasses for the Christian Blind Mission International.

SUNRICE Australian owned SunRice sponsors the SunRice Family Centre at the Ute Muster held in Deniliquin in Southern New South Wales each September. It is also a partner of Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, and sponsors the bi-annual Leeton SunRice Festival, which raises awareness of the industry and its impact on the community. SunRice is also an active donor of rice food products to Foodbank Australia.

DICK SMITH FOODS Dick Smith, the Australian entrepreneur responsible for OzeChoc and Bush Foods Breakfasts is committed to saving the world from population growth. He has donated the $1 million dollar prize money for his newly launched Wilberforce Award. Dick Smith is challenging people around the world under the age of 30 to think up the best solution to “society’s capitalist-driven addiction to consumption growth.” The winner will be announced in 12 months time.

t COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE t MORE ON DICK SMITH’S WILBERFORCE AWARD 9 www.givenow.com.au

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Giving Bootcamp THE LOWDOWN ON TAX-DEDUCTIBLE GIVING DEDUCTIBLE GIFT RECIPIENTS (DGRS): • A DGR is an organisation that is entitled to receive income taxdeductible gifts. • DGRs are either endorsed by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) or listed by name in the tax law. • You may not claim a tax deduction for donations made to organisations without DGR status – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be giving to them.

SOME FACTS: • There are approximately 25,000 DGRs in Australia (a small proportion of Australia’s 600,000 plus not-for-profit groups) • 44% of DGRs are public benevolent institutions (not-for-profit organisations for the direct relief of poverty, sickness, suffering, distress, misfortune, disability or helplessness) • 18% of DGRs are school or college building funds • Only 36% of eligible charitable donations are actually claimed through the tax office. (As at 31/10/2008. Source: ATO)

BUSTING SOME MYTHS: • “Charities” or good causes do not automatically receive DGR status. • Just because an organisation doesn’t have DGR status, doesn’t automatically make it any less “charitable”, worthy or trustworthy than organisations that do have DGR status. • DGR status is not a measure of

whether an organisation deserves financial support. • DGR status is not a measure of the long-term viability of an organisation.

• • • • • •

WHY ORGANISATIONS SEEK DGR STATUS Many grantmakers and philanthropic bodies can only give to DGRs, and some tax-conscious individuals will only donate to DGRs, making it an attractive status for a not-for-profit organisation to have. But it’s not easy to get. The application process can be onerous and expensive (legal and accounting advice is recommended) and there are a number of obligations that the organisation will need to meet on an ongoing basis. Getting DGR status is therefore beyond the financial and administrative means of many worthy not-for-profit organisations. Even those that do have the means may still miss out if they do not fit into the narrow and antiquated definition of “charity” (see The Problems – below).

DGR ENDORSEMENT Organisations that wish to have DGR status can either: (1) Apply for DGR endorsement by the ATO; or (2) Lobby the Federal Government to be listed by name in the tax legislation. There are two types of DGR endorsement by the ATO: • Where an organisation is endorsed as a whole; • Where an organisation is endorsed for a fund, authority or institution that it owns or includes. For example, a school may not be a DGR itself but may have a building fund that has DGR status. In order to claim a tax deduction for a donation to the school, the donation must go into that particular DGR-approved fund. There are 40 DGR categories set out in the income tax law, including:

health promotion charities school building funds scholarship funds public benevolent institutions overseas aid funds registered cultural and environmental organisations, and • public libraries, museums and art galleries.

THE PROBLEMS ARCHAIC FOUNDATIONS To determine if an organisation fits into a DGR category, it must have a ‘charitable purpose’. The problem is that ‘charity’ has never been defined in Australian legislation. To determine if an organisation is a charity you have to look at the “spirit and intendment” of the Preamble to the Statute of Elizabeth (1601) or be analogous to one of its purposes. Elizabeth thought that Charity was: • the reliefe of aged, impotent and poore people; • the maintenance of sicke and maymed Souldiers and Marriners, Schooles of Learning, free schooles and schollers in universities; • the repaire of bridges, portes, havens, causewaies, churches, sea‐ bankes and highwaies; • the educacion and prefermente of Orphans; • the maintenance of Howses of Correction; • providing dowries for the Mariages of poor Maides: • the supportation, aid and help of persons decayed; • the relief or redemption of Prisoners or Captives of the Turk; • and the aid or ease of any poor inhabitants concerning payment of fifteens, setting out of Souldiers • and other Taxes. We are still bound by these narrow concepts defined 409 years ago and 10,000 miles away. Many government-initiated inquiries have recommended that the definition of charity be modernised and defined by statute.

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Unfortunately, to date, no Australian government action has been taken to adopt these recommendations.

SOME RESULTING ANOMALIES Sporting Organisations The encouragement of sport undeniably benefits communities and improves the health and general wellbeing of participants, but currently that’s not enough to get sporting organisations DGR status.

CASE STUDY: The Northern NSW Football Limited (NNFL) The NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal recently held that this not-for-profit organisation had a dominant purpose that went beyond the mere encouragement of sport and that it was therefore a “charity” entitled to certain payroll tax and stamp duty exemptions. On appeal, however, the decision was reversed. An 1885 decision that held that “gifts for the encouragement of a mere sport will not be charitable” was applied.

“Political” Activities An organisation with a charitable purpose that is critical of the government may lose its DGR status. An organisation whose main purpose is charitable may be allowed to get away with some political lobbying if it is a minor and ancillary aspect of their work (though the scope of this concession can vary from time to time and government to government). However, trying to influence the government is not considered a charitable purpose under the spirit and intendment of the government of Elizabeth.

CASE STUDY: Aid/Watch Aid/Watch is an independent membership-based organisation founded in 1993. Its stated purpose is to act as a watchdog on aid, trade and debt, working with communities in the global south. To fulfil this mission, it researches, monitors and campaigns about overseas aid programs run by the Australian Government. Aid/Watch was fully endorsed as a charitable institution with DGR status. But in 2006, according to the ATO, Aid/Watch engaged in “political” activities. The ATO withdrew its DGR status. The “political” activities included campaigning the government to put pressure on the Burmese regime and raising concerns about the developmental impacts of the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement. Aid/Watch won special leave to appeal to the High Court. The High Court heard the appeal in June, but, at the date of publishing, has yet to hand down its decision.

GIVING THROUGH GIVENOW.COM.AU GiveNow.com.au believes all 600,000 community groups in Australia are potentially worthy of your donation, though only a fraction can offer you a tax donation – only around one in 24 have been endorsed as DGRs. We list any not-for-profit and community organisation on our website – whether they have DGR or not. Listed organisations must be incorporated and must have an appropriate authority to fundraise. t GIVENOW

THE PROPOSED PUBLIC BENEFIT TEST In May 2010, a Private Members Bill (The Tax Laws Amendment Bill (Public Benefit Test)) was introduced by Senator Nick Xenophon. If passed, the Bill, which is being considered at a Senate Economics Legislation Committee hearing, would require religious and charitable institutions to meet a ‘public benefit test’ to justify their exemption from taxation. In his second reading speech to Parliament, Senator Xenophon said the Bill was designed to ensure re- examination of the tax-exempt status of the Church of Scientology. Philanthropy Australia CEO Gina Anderson says the Bill could result in all DGR-endorsed organisations having to prove public benefit, potentially on an annual basis, in order to retain their status. She says the result would also add an administrative and resource cost to the Australian Taxation Office, with the potential cost of an appeal mechanism for disallowed charities that may pass into the court system. Over in the UK, the Charities Commission has been requiring church-run schools and hospitals and care facilities to cater for the needs of the public, as opposed to the wishes of the trustees: some private schools, for example, have been told to give out more scholarships, or to share facilities with other less well provided for local schools, if they wish to keep their charitable status. Back home, that’s not necessary; as a spokesman for the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference told the Senate inquiry, “Caring for rich people is as charitable as caring for poor people…. It’s not so much the wealth of the people that you are looking after, it’s whether those you are looking after are other than yourself, that’s the test of charity.”

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TWO GREAT CAUSES:

FOCUS ON AFRICA DEVELOPMENT – HYGIENE AWARENESS AND SANITARY PRODUCTS IN KENYA APPEAL Funds donated to the appeal will be used to empower young girls and teenage mothers residing in refugee camps and slums in Kenya through training programs focussed on personal hygiene (e.g. making low cost, hygienic sanitary towels). The project will also educate women on HIV/AIDS, gender based violence, child labour, and early pregnancy.

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EMBRACE EDUCATION – CALCULATOR AND TEXT BOOK APPEAL Embrace Education is a uni student-run tutoring organisation, which provides free tutoring to refugee and recent migrant high school students; many of which are completing VCE subjects without regular access to a textbook. Some are attempting year 12 maths without a graphic calculator. Funds are used to buy textbooks and calculators which are loaned to students for their VCE year and then re-loaned to other students in subsequent years.

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Making a Difference with $25... Support an Environmental Social Enterprise Green Collect assists businesses to achieve positive environmental outcomes by devising strategies for reducing energy consumption and waste while also providing opportunities to people who have experienced barriers to employment. t GIVENOW

Buy life-changing injections The gift of immunisation will protect children from deadly diseases like polio, tetanus and tuberculosis. Childhood immunisations can be purchased from the World Vision Smiles Catalogue. t GIVENOW

Donate towards Adaptive Equipment for People with Disabilities Funds are sought for the Able Management Group to help people with disabilities get active outdoors and enjoy the benefits. t GIVENOW

Make a business loan to change a life Through Kiva, you can help entrepreneurs like Mary Obiokuku in Nigeria, who needs a loan to buy sarongs for her stall, or Yutema Oeng in Cambodia, who needs a loan to pay his workers in his small construction business. t GIVENOW

Buy a vintage outfit Support your local community by heading to your local op shop and picking up the perfect dress, coat, shoes and bag to wear out this Saturday night. t GIVENOW

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GiveNow News Edition 7, 2010