Categories: government, finance, What's New, topical issues, news, general
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Controversy around proposed cuts to medical research funding has dominated the Australian media over the last several days.
When surveyed in 2010, 52% of Philanthropy Australia’s Members reported that they granted in the field of health and medical research. This demonstrates that trusts, foundations, funds and individuals within the philanthropic sector view this area as one in need of significant monetary support at this time.
In the Winter 2010 issue of Philanthropy Australia’s journal Australian Philanthropy, Daniel Rechtman, the Chairman of the CASS Foundation, explained that “in 2001, when the CASS Foundation was established as a medium-sized philanthropic organisation with the aim of funding education and medicine/science research, the Directors were told that the majority of funding for medical and scientific research came from government and industry, and that philanthropy contributed only a small amount”. In this same issue, Dr Noel Chambers of Research Australia shared the statistic that nearly three quarters of Australians (73 per cent) give less than $100 per annum in donations to medical research organisations.
These facts tell us that while medical research remains a priority funding area for formalised philanthropic giving, the sums involved are dwarfed by the amounts currently provided to the field by government. Coupled with a low rate of individual charitable giving to the field by the Australian public, this situation means that the proposed cuts in government funding to medical research would place significant stress on the philanthropic sector as it attempts to compensate for the reduction of government support.
From Research Australia’s recent email update:
Update: health and medical research funding cuts
- Research Australia is currently undertaking a public opinion poll to identify community sensitivity to proposed funding cuts. Preliminary results will be available shortly.
- Please view our video interview of the Hon Michael Wooldridge, former Commonwealth Minister for Health 1996-2001, discussing the impact of cuts to research funding. www.researchaustralia.org
- As of today, 13,828 people have registered on our iPetition.
- Media speculation suggests government may be rethinking cuts to funding. Until the Budget is handed down, there is no certainty, and we will continue to highlight the importance of continual funding to health research.
Categories: research & information, events
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Coinciding with QUT’s Reforming Fundraising Regulation Conference, Perpetual Foundation, in partnership with The Australian Centre for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Studies and PilchConnect, are holding a seminar summarising the results of the conference and holding a general discussion addressing fundraising laws and their interaction with the regulatory framework for NFP governance and accountability.
Presented by Professor Myles McGregor-Lowndes, with international guests Dr Oonagh Breen (School of Law, University College Dublin) and Mr Putnam Barber (The Nancy Bell Evans Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, University of Washington), you’ll hear about what works and doesn’t work overseas - and what does Australia need?
This event is being held in Sydney (28 April) and Melbourne (29 April).
Categories: news, general
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Philanthropy Australia extends deepest sympathy to The Macquarie Group and his family, friends and colleagues on the death of former Chairman David Clarke AO.
The leadership shown by David and his mark made in the financial sector have been extraordinary. In addition, his involvement and support for the not-for-profit sector has been of great impact, highly valued and so very important.
David will be missed and will be remembered in so many ways as an outstanding man, especially in business and philanthropy.
- Dr Deborah Seifert, CEO, Philanthropy Australia
In an era when Milton Friedman had made popular the idea that public companies and their subsidiaries should seek only to boost shareholder returns, David defied convention and established the Hill Samuel Charitable Fund.
By daring to be different and through his leadership and personal example over more than three decades, David made an outstanding contribution to Australian philanthropy.
- Bruce Bonyhady A, President, Philanthropy Australia
Categories: statistics, government, recommended reading, general
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The Australian Taxation Office has released the latest taxation statistics, covering the 2008-2009 financial year. For the first time in a decade, the statistics show a decline in tax deductible giving in Australia. Key points include:
- In the 2008-09 income year, individuals claimed $2,093 million in deductible gifts, a decrease of 10.8% on the previous year.
- The number of individuals who claimed a gift or contribution as a deduction increased by 3.7% to 37.8% of Australian taxpayers.
- The largest decrease in value of donations occurred amongst those claiming deductions of more than $25,000.
- There were 858 Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs) at the end of October 2010.
- PAFs have a total of $2,016 million under management and in the 08-09 financial year they collectively distributed $153 million to DGRs.
More information is available at the Australian Taxation Office’s chapter on Charities and Deductible Gifts.
Categories: statistics, recommended reading, news, general
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(Guest blogger Peter Winneke was recently featured in The Age newspaper’s The Zone. Philanthropy Australia invited Peter to talk about that experience and expand on the issues covered there).
Myth: Australians are Generous
by Peter Winneke
We constantly perpetuate the myth that Australians are generous. But is this actually the case? I was recently interviewed for a piece in The Zone for “The Age” newspaper in Melbourne. Whilst I pointed out that Volunteering Australia tell us that Australians have a high rate of volunteerism (compared to other OECD countries) and that there are many generous Australians, it is a myth that Australians are generous as:
- on average we gift only 0.4% of income to charity
- 65% of Australians (8 million of 12.6 million individual taxpayers) make no gift to charity
- of the 7,905 Australians who earned >$1 million, 37% made no gift to charity
(Source: ATO analysis from 2007/08 individual tax returns.)
And of course it is the affluent that are letting us down. Research by The Petre Foundation suggests that the affluent here are giving significantly less than some western world contemporaries. What to do? It is time we had a frank discussion on the issue of our financial generosity, and then took steps to build a culture of giving. This could be assisted by developing a ‘Giving Campaign’ (as done in the UK in 2001), establishing a Charities Commision to (amongst other things) help promote trust in the NFP sector and also provide the philanthropic sector’s peak body, Philanthropy Australia, with deductible gift recipient status to assist it raise funds to better promote the sector. We must also encourage the affluent to give more consideration to how much is left to the children.
What will the article in The Zone achieve? Probably little. If you read the 68 comments from readers (see above link) , not surprisingly you will see the usual defensive nature of Australians providing a multitude of reasons not to give. Depressing stuff! However, its prominence might get the issue publicly discussed a little more. I believe more sector leaders need to speak out on the issue, including Philanthropy Australia. There is too much polite conversation around the issue. If we don’t act the sector will continue to be an immaterial size with a slow growth rate, as opposed to becoming a key player in the NFP sector with the ability to be a powerful change agent.
Categories: workshops, events
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Places are still available for next Monday’s Grantseeker Workshop in Sydney. This workshop makes a fantastic introduction on how to look for funding from philanthropic sources. Learn how to research potential funding sources, what to include in a submission, what to leave out, how to make your application easy to understand, and what makes foundations different to other funders. There are plenty of personal tips and hints included to help you make the most out of your application and ensure the best possible chance of success.
Date: Monday, 11 April, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
This is the first Sydney Grantseeker Workshop for the year - don’t miss out! See the Workshops Page on our website to book your place.
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