11 February 2023

Harnessing generosity, boosting philanthropy

A once‑in‑a‑generation review of Australian philanthropy has kicked off. Undertaken by the Productivity Commission, the goal of the review is to boost donations to charities and meet the Australian Government’s goal of doubling philanthropic giving by 2030.

The Government has appointed Krystian Seibert, formerly an Industry Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology, to join the review as an Associate Commissioner. Mr Seibert has extensive experience in the philanthropic and not for profit sectors.

The review comes at a time when the charity sector is under pressure. Over recent decades, Australians have become less likely to join community groups, less likely to volunteer, less likely to play organised sport, less likely to attend religious services, and less likely to know their neighbours. Declining social capital has broad implications for wellbeing, health and social connectedness.

Philanthropic giving underpins the crucial efforts of charities, not for profit organisations and community groups to support vulnerable Australians and build social capital and connectedness in Australian communities.

This has been highlighted by the challenges of recent years, with not‑for‑profits mobilising monetary donations, supplies, and volunteers to support those affected by the COVID‑19 pandemic, natural disasters, and the rising cost of living. As we confront these and other challenges, not for profits will continue to play a vital role in strengthening and reconnecting our communities.

However, while deductible donations have increased as a share of total income, the percentage of taxpayers making donations has fallen.

The Australian Government is committed to collaborating with the philanthropic, not‑for‑profit, and business sectors to double philanthropic giving by 2030. The Productivity Commission review, starting today will provide a roadmap to achieving this objective.

The Productivity Commission will consult broadly, including with Commonwealth, state and territory governments, the philanthropic, not‑for‑profit and business sectors and the general public. The Commission will hold public hearings, invite public submissions and release a draft report for public review.

The final report will be provided to the government in the first half of 2024. For further information, including terms of reference, please visit the Productivity Commission’s website.