What a year 2020 has been so far. Not surprisingly, reports from Philanthropy Australia say many Australian charities are facing a battle to survive. Fundraising activity is grinding to a halt, staff are being laid off and volunteering has slowed. These changes are also impacting significantly on the services the philanthropy sector can provide to support the most vulnerable members of our community get through COVID-19.
Other sources report expected losses in the charity sector to run into hundreds of millions of dollars, with many organisations already struggling financially. Charities have called on governments to provide substantial, simple and swift cash grants to support frontline causes whose role it is to help knit communities together. In Australia, there are 56,000 charities operating, many of whom rely solely on the goodwill of others for their funding. This can be heartbreaking and backbreaking for these charities. You will find that a lot of their effort and resources go into fundraising and financial management.
These severe peaks and troughs in any industry can be detrimental; however, there is a solution that we as regular people can do to help support charities. This is where the ACT’s GreaterGood Foundation comes into play. Established in 2003, GreaterGood is the ACT’s only public ancillary fund with over $22 million in accumulated capital and having distributed more than $10 million to charities operating and providing benefit in our own local community and beyond.
As GreaterGood is essentially an endowment fund, all funds are collectively invested through the Public Trustee and Guardian’s growth investment strategy using the same fund manager as ACT Treasury. GreaterGood is administered by the Public Trustee and Guardian, a permanent ACT Territory Authority, that will always be there to ensure that your fund is safe and keeps working.
By establishing your own charitable account within GreaterGood, your charity will receive perpetual income and can rely on that income every year.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has made provision for private and public ancillary funds. These funds allow the tax-efficient pooling of money that is managed or held to make distributions to other entities. For philanthropic purposes, this facility provides a link between people who want to give and organisations that can receive tax-deductible donations (these organisations are known as Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Category 1). These funds provide a permanent source of income for DGRs.
GreaterGood is accredited by the ATO as a DGR Category 2 and is a registered Charity with the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission. The difference between Category 1 and Category 2 DGRs is that a Category 1 is known as a “doing DGR”; in a simplified sense, they are organisations that carry out charitable works and use tax-deductible donations to fund these activities. Organisations with Category 2 status, like GreaterGood, are often called “giving DGRs” as their role is to distribute benefit to Category 1 DGRs.
Through GreaterGood, you can establish your own mini ‘foundation’ with all the bells and whistles of a McGrath-style foundation but with the significant advantage of no cost to you and the ability to benefit whichever charities you wish.
Establishing your own fund under GreaterGood is as simple as settling an amount of money to your own personally named fund within GreaterGood, either now or in your Will. GreaterGood preserves and invests the amount settled to produce a permanent source of income for the benefit and support of your recommended charities. GreaterGood facilitates charitable giving in many ways, all with the aim of maximising the amount the charity receives while giving them a yearly donation they can rely on.
This feature was created in partnership with Public Trustee for the ACT. For more information on sponsored partnerships, click here.