Charities will need government help to recover

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Charities that rely on volunteer fundraising drives and donations through major events will find recovery harder, says the head of the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission’s philanthropy advisory group. Source: The Guardian.

By Paul Karp, The Guardian

Tony Stuart, the chief executive of UNICEF and chair of the NCCC’s charity, philanthropy and fundraising advisory group, revealed the body wants red tape reduction in the not-for-profit sector and is considering whether an extension of the JobKeeper wage subsidy is the best way to help those at risk.

It comes as the Morrison Government considers changes to the $1,500 fortnightly wage subsidy program in its June review and targeted support for sectors suffering despite the easing of restrictions, including tourism, the arts and construction.

Asked if the NCCC advisory group is currently discussing whether to recommend the Government extend JobKeeper in the sector, Mr Stuart replied: “I think every sector is having that discussion right now.

“We are looking as a group as to which areas of activity that help vulnerable Australians are going to take longer to recover from COVID-19 and what support is appropriate.”

“Some organisations are going to find it much harder, for example tourism and charities which rely on events and volunteering.”

He said that longer-term reform such as achieving uniform fundraising legislation across states and territories is even more important “at times like these”.

In 2019 a Senate inquiry recommended the government work with states and territories to develop a consistent fundraising regulation model within two years. The issue is complicated by online fundraising, which can require a separate registration in each state and territory.

Mr Stuart suggested charities could benefit from an automatic extension of government contracts, a “common sense” move that would “provide charities with some certainty” rather than require them to complete “massive tenders” mid-pandemic.

The Assistant Minister for Charities, Zed Seselja, said: “The government has worked productively with the charitable sector, delivering much needed support for charities as we have responded to the economic impacts of COVID-19, and I will continue to engage with the sector as we move through the recovery phase.”

FULL STORY

Charities relying on donations will need government support, COVID commission official says (The Guardian

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