1 April 2022

Morrison Government backs Community Foundations with DGR status reforms

The Morrison Government is making it easier for Community Foundations to access donations by granting deductible gift recipient (DGR) status through specific listing in the tax law.

In the 2022-23 Budget, the Government announced that up to 28 entities related to community foundations affiliated with the peak body, Community Foundations Australia, will be eligible.

This means taxpayers will be able to claim an income tax deduction for donations of $2 or more to these Community Foundations. The reforms will also enable the Community Foundations to receive funding from private philanthropy, including billions of dollars held by private ancillary funds.

Community Foundations enable people to donate locally, where they can see the benefits of their generosity through local projects and local charities. Most Community Foundations support regional communities. They are run by volunteers who use grants to address local challenges and community needs in a targeted way.

These historic reforms will help Foundations give back to their communities through causes like support for bushfire and flood recovery, COVID-19 assistance, domestic violence support, support for disadvantaged students, and community arts. This will assist community foundations such as:

  • the Border Trust, the Community Foundation for Albury Wodonga and surrounding regions. It runs annual grant rounds to fund projects and programs for the benefit of the community including a therapy dog program in Wodonga, a healthy eating and resilience program for autistic school students in Albury, and a suicide prevention documentary in Albury;
  • Foundation Murrindindi, which runs a bushfire recovery program to support community projects including cultural and arts events and mental health initiatives across Murrindindi Shire in north-east Victoria;
  • Tomorrow Today, which funds a range of student support, wellbeing and mentoring programs in Benalla. Its objective is to improve regional education outcomes by working with disadvantaged young people at critical stages of their development; and
  • Stand Like Stone, which supports projects in South Australia‚Äôs Limestone Coast region including cultural awareness, mental wellbeing, school art and community organisations.

The Treasury will now work with Community Foundations to implement this measure, which includes tax integrity conditions that entities will not be listed unless their governing rules do not permit a use of funds beyond that permitted for entities endorsed under the DGR categories in the tax law.