Launch of Share Gift Australia
29 November 2007 at 2:14 pm
ShareGift Australia, a Not for Profit organisation set up to provide shareholders with a simple way to sell and donate small parcels of shares to charities, has been launched in Melbourne.
Christopher Thorn, Chair of ShareGift Australia, says the organisation provides a charitable solution to the issue of small holdings of shares.
Thorn says approximately 240,000 Australians own ‘less than marketable ‘ parcels of shares, with a value of around $80 million in ASX-listed companies that may cost more to sell than they are actually worth.
He says ShareGift Australia allows shareholders to tidy up their portfolios by donating their shares to charity rather than having to manage the ongoing documentation and small dividends these shares generate.
He says once a shareholder fills out a share donation form, ShareGift Australia sells the shares without incurring brokerage costs and distributes the proceeds to Australian charities.
Donations over $2 are tax deductible, and donors are able to recommend charities to be supported, however the ultimate selection decision is up to the Board, with respect to DGR status.
Goldman Sachs JBWere is a supporter of ShareGift Australia through the Goldman Sachs JBWere Foundation and also as the first broker to provide pro bono services to ShareGift Australia.
A pilot survey was recently been completed with the National Australia Bank, which contacted more than 15,000 shareholders who held less than 50 shares.
NAB CFO, Michael Ullmer says National was delighted to be the first Australian public company to support ShareGift Australia, giving shareholders an opportunity to donate small parcels of shares to charities without the need to appoint a stockbroker or pay brokerage fees.
More than $11,000 has been raised so far from NAB shareholders which will be distributed to around 17 charities, including World Vision Australia, The Smith Family and The Cancer Council Victoria.
Shareholders can also be invited to donate dividends by simply directing all or part of their forthcoming dividend payment to ShareGift Australia. The proceeds are then distributed to charities recommended by donors and selected by the Board of ShareGift Australia. Dividend gifting can also sit alongside existing Dividend Reinvestment Programs.
ShareGift Australia is currently engaging other Australian publicly listed companies in order to encourage them to become involved in the program.
ShareGift Australia is based on the successful UK charity ShareGift, which has generated over 10million pounds and supported more than 1,000 different UK registered charities since 1996.
All shares held in Australian publicly listed companies may be donated. The ShareGift program has been endorsed by both the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and the Australian Shareholder’s Association.
For more information go to: www.sharegiftaustralia.org.au