Policy priorities for a Post COVID-19 Australia
As Australia’s charitable sector grapples with the significant and long-term impacts of COVID-19, Australia’s peak body for philanthropy is calling for changes to encourage more and better giving.
Philanthropy Australia has released key policy priority recommendations to encourage increased support and stimulate giving to help the charitable sector survive the pandemic and to build back better in the post COVID-19 environment.
Philanthropy Australia’s ‘Policy Priorities for a Post COVID-19 Australia’ calls on the Australian Government to implement two urgent actions to address the immediate and ongoing impact of the pandemic on charities and giving:
• Establishing a specalised not-for-profit loan fund, in partnership with philanthropy; and
• Implementing a temporary increased charitable gift deduction
Establishing a $1 billion not-for-profit loan fund in partnership with philanthropy would deliver working capital in the form of low-cost loans, providing an important new source of support for charities to help them sustain themselves during COVID-19 and beyond.
Implementing a temporary increased charitable gift deduction would help support and maintain
giving at this critical time, when the charitable sector is experiencing a reduction in donations and
an increase in demand for the services.
Philanthropy Australia Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Davies, said there has never been a more pressing need to incentivise and stimulate philanthropic and charitable giving to support charities.
“Charities are vital contributors to Australia, with the charitable sector providing critical frontline essential services and community support, employing a significant 10% of Australia’s workforce and representing 8% of GDP. The sector has been hit incredibly hard by the pandemic, and we now that it will still be some time before the COVID-19 health and economic crisis is over,” Davies said.
Australian philanthropy has acted swiftly and with purpose over the past five months to support the charitable sector through this difficult and evolving public crisis, Davies said and has welcomed the Government’s early supports for charities and increased giving – but there is still much more that needs to be done, and that must be done.
“This is about supporting and stimulating private giving to support charities and the communities
they serve. As well as providing direct support through JobKeeper and increased grant support to
meet growing demand for immediate response services, the Government can help create the
right incentives and environment to nurture and encourage private giving – especially at this very
challenging time – and keep up the flow of donations to charities,” she explained.