Funding certainty needed for NFPs and charities in COVID-19 crisis
The AICD acknowledges the Morrison Government’s moves to assist the parts of the sector including extending the JobKeeper wage subsidy to charities and targeted funding for mental health services, domestic violence support and Medicare assistance.
However, the long-term viability of a substantial number of NFPs and charities across Australia will remain under threat without a stimulus package for the whole sector.
AICD CEO and Managing Director, Angus Armour, said, “It will be difficult – if not impossible – for many NFPs to financially withstand the impact of COVID-19 without substantial additional support. Increased demand, decreased donations, loss of access to volunteers, inability to hold fundraising events and in some cases significant loss of operating revenues are examples of the difficulties this sector is facing.”
“It is vital for the Australian economy, and society, to maintain the viability of the NFP sector during these unprecedented times,” Armour said.
The AICD is recommending that:
- The government implement an urgent relief package for the NFP and charities sector to support their financial sustainability, including bringing forward the payment of committed government funding as soon as possible, and extend funding commitments to all organisations for an initial 12 months to provide certainty and capacity to address current cash flow constraints; and
- By default, any stimulus or assistance measures aimed at supporting businesses should automatically apply to NFPs as well.
Additional measures that the AICD is urging the federal government to consider include:
- A tailored scheme to encourage lending to NFPs and charities to ensure access to credit on favourable terms. Currently, many NFPs and charities will not be able to access credit from banking institutions as they fall outside institutions’ lending guidelines.
- Additional incentives that support charitable giving at this time.
- A 12-month moratorium at all levels of government from all tax liabilities, charges and rental fees (where relevant).
- Additional direct funding being provided to NFPs and charities.