Charities Give Feedback on Govt Paper to Encourage Social Impact Investment
24 July 2017 at 9:57 am
A round of “robust” discussions between charity leaders, philanthropists and government representatives were “a promising start” to pushing for reforms around the tax treatment of loans and investments from ancillary funds to charities.
The Community Council of Australia (CCA) hosted two roundtables in Melbourne and Sydney on Thursday and Friday to get feedback from the charity sector on the government’s discussion paper which explores ways to facilitate the growth of the Australian social impact investing market.
CCA CEO David Crosbie said CCA welcomed the opportunity to work with government and have input around proposed changes.
“Ït was very good to hear Treasury’s perspective and it was very good for Treasury to hear charities perspective,” Crosbie said.
Crosbie said there was broad representation from financial executives in the charity sector as well as representation from Social Ventures Australia and Philanthropy Australia.
“There was a great diversity of views and perspectives from large and small organisations across different fields in the charity sector,” he said.
“The discussions were really positive and this was a really constructive consultation process.
“Certainly the people from the Treasury really did genuinely listen and all sorts of issues were canvassed including some of the more controversial ones like DGR and advocacy.”
He said although the DGR status and advocacy was mentioned, participants spent most of the day talking about the mechanisms needed to allow and encourage foundations to invest in charities.
Crosbie said there was a general consensus that some of the “administration” around foundations investing in charities needed changing.
“We are hopeful that it will be made easier for foundations to just not disperse the money they make from their investments but actually invest in the charities and for that to be counted towards their disbursement.”
Crosbie said the representatives from the Treasury would report and make recommendations to the minister’s office.
He said he was hopeful for change.
“If we can make it easier to get funds into the charity sector it should be a priority for all of us,” Crosbie said.
“I think it is a policy goal that is shared by government, the charity sector and foundations themselves.
“It is just about finding the right mechanisms.”