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Online Service Promotes Giving One Percent

9 June 2011 at 1:53 pm
Lina Caneva
An Australian couple is trying to create a cultural change in the way Australians give.

Lina Caneva | 9 June 2011 at 1:53 pm


Online Service Promotes Giving One Percent
9 June 2011 at 1:53 pm

An Australian couple is trying to create a cultural change in the way Australians give.

In what has been described as the absence of public leadership or community conversation in Australia about standards of individual charitable giving, the couple says they were prompted to set up an online Not for Profit service called Giving One Percent.

Former corporate finance lawyer, now mother of two and community lobbyist Alison Leemen established the on-line service with her partner Mark Leemen, a partner at the US law firm Skadden.

Having lived in New York, they say they wanted to bring the US’s giving culture back home.

The Sydney-based couple believe the new on-line service will encourage all Australians to give their fair share to life-saving work with the world’s poor.

Alison Leemen says the site’s Charity Chooser,which profiles nearly 100 charities working to save lives and eliminate poverty overseas,makes it easier for Australians to give and give more intelligently.

Leeman says donors can use the on-line service to research, calculate and plan their
charitable giving.

Based on 2008–09 tax returns, over 60% of Australian taxpayers gave nothing to charity, and 93.9% give less than 1% of their income. In fact, the total amount of tax deductions claimed in 2008-09 decreased by 10.8% on the previous year, at the
same time as the Australian economy grew more rapidly than most countries worldwide.

Leeman says Australia needs a public standard that people have confidence in and talk about, so everyone feels their neighbours and peers are pulling their weight, too.

She says the challenge for all working Australians is to give at least one per cent of their income each financial year.

She says their core focus is on planned as opposed to reactive giving, and through the online service people can decide how much to give, who to help, and how.

For more information go to

Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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