A leading charity charity institute in Australia is fighting for a “fair share” of revenue from the country’s big four companies.
Key points:An audit of the sector by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) found charities pay much more in tax than the industry would normally expect to receiveThe watchdog says a lack of transparency in how charities are funded is damaging charitiesThe ATO is currently conducting an audit into the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Industry (ACNIFA) to establish how it is funded and how charities and charities organisations are treated.
The audit has been carried out by the ACNIFA for more than a year and has identified areas where there are areas where charities are failing to meet their financial obligations, such as payments to charities for travel expenses, accommodation and staffing costs, and grants.ACNICA’s chief executive officer, Tonya Kapp, said charities are already struggling to fund themselves in the face of rising costs, with funding needed to help charities in need.
“A lack of money is a challenge we’re seeing with our community groups, as well as with those in other communities that are struggling to provide services for those in need,” Ms Kapp said.
“It is also a challenge for our industry and its charities as they have to look for new revenue streams.”
The ACNICA chief executive said the audit highlighted some of the challenges in how the industry operates and how it could improve.
“We do a lot of good work and I think it’s important that our organisations are able to have a say in how they’re funded,” Ms Voss said.
“There’s not a lot we can do on our own to make a difference, we just have to be better and that’s what the audit is going to do.”
She said charities were already struggling with funding, including travel expenses for their staff, and the lack of disclosure on where funds were being spent.
“There are some very, very small charities out there who are struggling and it’s a real challenge for them,” Ms Poulton said.
Ms Kapp called for more transparency in the way charities were funded, saying it was vital to provide organisations with a “common ground” to negotiate with companies, and to make sure they were able to provide the information needed to make decisions about how to best fund their organisations.
“When we make a decision, it’s all about getting the right information out there to the industry,” she said.ACNM’s chief financial officer, Paul Hodge, said the sector needed to be more transparent about how it was funded.
“If we’re not going to be able to get money out of the industry, then we’re also going to need to have better transparency in what the organisations are getting,” he said.
He said there were a number of issues the ACNM could look at to improve transparency, including giving organisations a better idea of how much money they actually receive from businesses.
“But there are many, many other ways that charities can be more effective in the industry and we’re certainly not going there yet,” Mr Hodge said.
Topics:corporate-governance,corporate law,community-and-society,business-economics-and/or-finance,government-and_government,community,federal-government,education,education-industry,australiaContact Sarah CramerMore stories from New South Wales