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New National Volunteering Standards | Pro Bono Australia

Significant changes to national volunteering standards have been introduced to coincide with National Volunteer Week, and include a strong focus on reporting and measuring volunteer involvement.
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Young people keen on 'short-term' volunteering

Young people keen on 'short-term' volunteering | CCA on the record | Scoop.it
Community and welfare groups need more young volunteers, the head of a SA volunteering organisation says.
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Budget 2015: Doctors pained by limit on tax perks

Budget 2015: Doctors pained by limit on tax perks | CCA on the record | Scoop.it

The government risks a row with the states and doctors over plans to wind back tax breaks on meals and entertainment for health workers, which are now costing $465 million a year...

 

Community Council for Australia chief executive David Crosbie said medical specialists in Victoria had been among the major beneficiaries of FBT perks.

 

"I've seen people claiming over $100,000 tax-free," he said.

"What they do is put every meal and entertainment and travel expense down. Then if their kids have a wedding or a birthday party, they put that down too."

 

Mr Crosbie has been urging the government to spend whatever money it saves by imposing a cap to grant charities deductible gift recipient status.

 

"It would take less than $150 million for all charities to have DGR except for every school and church," he said.

 

Save the Children chief executive Paul Ronalds has been urging the government to impose a cap of $5000 or $10,000, arguing that if people are claiming above that, they must have high levels of disposable income. 

 

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Dismissing the Un-dismissible | Pro Bono Australia - 23 April 2015

Dismissing the Un-dismissible | Pro Bono Australia - 23 April 2015 | CCA on the record | Scoop.it
A natural tendency to be supportive of DSS officials engaged in Australia’s difficult welfare funding challenge was completely undermined by their arrogant presentation to the Senate Inquiry this week in which some officials displayed a complete lack of insight or concern about their impact on communities and organisations, writes David Crosbie, CEO of Community Council for Australia.
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Charity governance and trustee news - Australian government pulls back from plans to abolish charity regulator - Civil Society UK - 13 April 2015

Charity governance and trustee news - Australian government pulls back from plans to abolish charity regulator - Civil Society UK - 13 April 2015 | CCA on the record | Scoop.it

Australia’s coalition government has withdrawn from plans to abolish the country’s newly-formed charity watchdog, after the sector campaigned for it to remain...

 

The ACNC was criticised in March last year by former Australian minister for social services Kevin Andrews, for taking “a very heavy-handed approach” to not-for-profit organisations.

But sector leaders welcomed the news of its continuation on Wednesday.

Tim Costello, chief executive of World Vision Australia and chair of the Community Council for Australia, said the body was an important means of maintaining transparency and confidence within the sector.

“A lot of us in this room are very happy,” he said. “Who welcomes a regulator? But we have. There is for the first time in our history a dedicated body in the charities sector that is a cop on the beat. It’s already got rid of at least nine fraudulent charities, which hurts us all.”

The not-for-profit sector employs about a million people in Australia and is at the “heart of communities”, according to Costello. .

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Australian nonprofits prepare for hard times ahead | Devex | 10 April 2015

Australian nonprofits prepare for hard times ahead | Devex | 10 April 2015 | CCA on the record | Scoop.it

  

Given massive cuts to the federal government’s aid budget, how can Australian nonprofits and charities deliver much-needed services despite reduced funding?

 

This is the question top leaders of Australian nongovernmental organizations tried to address at a national roundtable this week, following the release of a Community Council for Australiareport highlighting their struggles.

 

“Charities and not-for-profits are facing more expenses now than in the past and need to find money to meet their project and contractual obligations,” CCA chief executive David Crosbie told Devex, noting how many nonprofits are now facing the dilemma of being underfunded for the work they are contractually required to complete. But because they believe in the work, these NGOs are searching for means to make ends meet...

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Govt Targets PAFs & Fringe Benefits Tax | Pro Bono Australia | 9 April 2015

Govt Targets PAFs & Fringe Benefits Tax | Pro Bono Australia | 9 April 2015 | CCA on the record | Scoop.it

The Abbott Government has announced changes to the way Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs) will be wound up and how the philanthropic funds can distribute their assets.

 

Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg made the announcement at a Community Council for Australia forum attended by some 60 high profile leaders from the social sector to discuss topics around ‘The Australia We Want’.

 

Frydenberg said by increasing the “portability” of Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs) red tape costs would be cut considerably.

 

- See more at: http://www.probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2015/04/govt-targets-pafs-fringe-benefits-tax#sthash.048OZoRT.dpuf
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Charities feel the pinch as lifesaving programs shut down - ABC News - 8 April 2015

Charities feel the pinch as lifesaving programs shut down - ABC News - 8 April 2015 | CCA on the record | Scoop.it
Leaders of Tasmanian charitable organisations say the sector has never felt poorer as it faces funding cuts despite a growing need for its services.
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Sunrise Episode: Wed 8 Apr - Video

Sunrise Episode: Wed 8 Apr - Video | CCA on the record | Scoop.it
Grant Hackett's incredible comeback and Clint Eastwood's son Scott now a Hollywood leading man.
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Australian charities 'never felt poorer' as lifesaving programs shut down - 7 News - 8 April 2015

Australian charities 'never felt poorer' as lifesaving programs shut down - 7 News - 8 April 2015 | CCA on the record | Scoop.it

The heads of Australian charities and not-for-profit organisations were in Canberra today to work out how best to bridge the gap.


Reverend Tim Costello, chairman of the Community Council for Australia, told ABC News there was virtually no collective forward planning for the fast growing sector which employs more than one million people.

 

A recent report from the peak body claimed the sector had never felt poorer. Reverend Costello said charities were stressed and were closing down lifesaving programs.

 

"Since the global financial crisis, where there was a downtown of 10 per cent, we've never recovered," he said. "And that with government funding cuts has been quite disastrous."


CEO of the Community Council for Australia David Crosbie told 936 ABC Hobart governments have made budget savings by getting charities to run services previously operated by government bodies...

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Tough times for Aussie charities - FIVEaa - 8 April

Tim Costello says many Australian charities are “close to the wall”.

“Not-for-profits, because of their purpose, will find ways to cut, to get more volunteers, to keep going even if they’re near bankruptcy,” Mr Costello told FIVEaa. 

“But it’s no way to operate.”

Mr Costello, CEO of World Vision Australia, highlighted Australia’s current battles with domestic violence against women, the ice epidemic and alcohol-fuelled violence.

“Australia really has some challenges,” he said.

 

Mr Costello said in the face of a downturn in public donations, government needed to recognize charities for the work they do protecting the vulnerable and helping Australia flourish.

 

“We’re not simply bleating and going with our hand out to government.”

He said he hoped government would include charities in serious discussions.

 

“We need a strategy that really owns our future,” he said. 

 

Australian charity CEOs are scheduled to meet with politicians in Canberra on Wednesday.

 

LISTEN to the full interview with Tim Costello here:

- See more at: http://www.fiveaa.com.au/shows/david-mark-jane/tough-times-for-aussie-charities#sthash.v59gAI1D.dpuf

 

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Documents Reveal NFP Sector’s Frustration with Govt | Pro Bono Australia

Australian charities, Not for Profit organisations and churches have warned that the Not for Profit sector could face greater regulatory burdens and costs if the Abbott Government abolishes the national charity regulator.
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Tasmanian charities struggling to keep up with demand | 4ZZZ Brisbane 102.1FM

Tasmanian charities have recorded the biggest surge in demand in recent times despite government reports indicating tasmania’s economic recovery and lower unemployment rates.

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Budget to Target NFP Tax Concessions | Pro Bono Australia

CCA has called on the Government to redirect savings from a likely cap on the FBT concession for meals and entertainment toward strengthening the sector.
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Most groups funded under Indigenous advancement strategy non-Indigenous

Most groups funded under Indigenous advancement strategy non-Indigenous | CCA on the record | Scoop.it

Of the $4.9bn available, ‘about half’ was allocated to existing programs before the first application round opened... 

 

The Community Council for Australia said it did not support historical funding models but criticised the IAS process for limited consultation, “top-down imposition of requirements” and apparent disregard or lack of knowledge about the realities of running services.

 

It said the IAS’s attempt to improve the “dog’s breakfast” of human service contracting was “undermined by the way this task was approached” including failing to heed recommendations from the productivity commission.

 

Using drastically reduced federal funding, the IAS sought to streamline myriad Indigenous funding arrangements into five key programs: jobs, land and economy; children and schooling, which received a third of funding; safety and wellbeing, which received nearly half ; culture and capability; and remote Australia strategies...

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Imagine a happier, healthier, more just Australia - 27 April 2015

Imagine a happier, healthier, more just Australia - 27 April 2015 | CCA on the record | Scoop.it
Reinventing failure seems to be the default setting of our national policy makers.
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Peter FitzSimons: Australia, you are loved, by those in space at least - The Sydney Morning Herald - 12 April 2015

Peter FitzSimons: Australia, you are loved, by those in space at least - The Sydney Morning Herald - 12 April 2015 | CCA on the record | Scoop.it

They said it: 


"We have to be vigilant around terror, but when you think of the resources going in to that when you know, citizens are at risk every day from domestic issues, I think we need to regain perspective. I think that whole terror agenda needs to be kept in perspective."

 Reverend Tim Costello of the Community Council for Australia, asking for a bit of perspective in government spending.

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Not for Profits Grill Assistant Treasurer | Pro Bono Australia - 9 April 2015

The Abbott Government has been accused of trying to silence Not for Profits as Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg faced a grilling from the sector at a national forum.  


The Abbott Government has been accused of trying to silence Not for Profits as Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg faced a grilling from the sector at a national forum.


Frydenberg was in Canberra to speak at a Community Council for Australia forum attended by some 60 high profile leaders from the social sector to discuss topics around ‘The Australia We Want’.

 

Founder and CEO of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), Kon Karapangiotidis, who attended the event as a member of Pro Bono Australia’s Impact 25, started the questioning, asking Frydenberg why Not for Profits were having their advocacy work defunded...

 

“In other words our advocacy is our expertise, knowledge and solutions that we want to bring to Government. When you defund all the peak agencies you actually silence the charity sector. You silence its voice, you squander its expertise, you squander its solutions and it’s an unforgivable waste.”

 

- See more at: http://www.probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2015/04/not-profits-grill-assistant-treasurer#sthash.kdztK9CG.dpuf
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Charities complain of funding difficulties - SBS World News Radio Podcast - 8 April 2015

Charities complain of funding difficulties - SBS World News Radio Podcast - 8 April 2015 | CCA on the record | Scoop.it
Many charities claim they have never felt poorer, despite enjoying income and asset value growth. 

 

A new report from the not-for-profit body Community Council of Australia says charities now have less money for discretionary spending, and aren't being given enough money by governments...


Just how will the future look for them as governments provide less funding and there is more competition for philathropic donations?

It's an issue that prompted a report by the Community Council of Australia.

 

It found that charities have been enjoying major growth with 175-billion dollars in assets, and turnover of more than 107-billion dollars. But the Chief Executive of World Vision, Tim Costello says most of the growth in the sector came before the Global Financial Crisis, when Australians were optimistic and charitable...

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Morrison halting plan to scrap Australian Charities Commission - The Australian - 9 April 2015

Scott Morrison has shelved his predecessor’s plan to scrap the Australian Charities Commission, effectively dumping the election pledge in response to concerns from the not-for-profit sector.


The Social Services Minister will instead keep a “watching brief” on the commission, which former minister Kevin Andrews had argued needed to be dumped as a priority...

 

“The commitment still stands, but it is not a priority for us to proceed with it at this time,” Mr Frydenberg said. “Scott Morrison is continuing to look at this issue"...

 

There are about 60,000 charities registered with the ACNC that are included on a searchable public register. The backdown was welcomed by charities, who have overwhelmingly supported maintaining the commission to regulate the $40 billion sector.

 

Community Council of Australia chief executive David Crosbie said the regulator had successfully reduced duplication in the sector.

 

“I think keeping the ACNC is a no-brainer — the sector wants it,” Mr Crosbie said. “It is doing a great job, and I think it should be given more power, not less.”

 

A survey of charities undertaken by Pro Bono Australia found 80 per cent of polled organisations supported keeping the commission, but its repeal has been supported by the Catholic Church and the Financial Services Council which administers charitable trusts...

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Charity regulator likely to stay after policy backlash - Gatton Star - 9 April 2015

Charity regulator likely to stay after policy backlash - Gatton Star - 9 April 2015 | CCA on the record | Scoop.it

AFTER a wide backlash against its plans to abolish the national charities regulator, the Abbott government appears to be backing down on the policy...most charities wanted to retain the single regulator.  

 

Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told a community sector meeting in Canberra the policy was no longer a "priority".

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Oz Charity Regulator Saved from Bonfire for Now - Nonprofit Quarterly - 8 April 2015

Oz Charity Regulator Saved from Bonfire for Now - Nonprofit Quarterly - 8 April 2015 | CCA on the record | Scoop.it

The Australian Assistant Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, told a meeting of nonprofit sector representatives that while the government had not formally abandoned its desire to scrap the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), it would not treat these efforts as a priority...

 

Tim Costello, the chairman of the Community Council of Australia, the nonprofit peak organization, said the sector supported the regulator because transparency was important in maintaining community confidence. “There is for the first time in our history a dedicated body in the charities sector that is a cop on the beat,” Costello said. “It’s already got rid of at least nine fraudulent charities.”

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Fringe benefits tax exemptions for charity organisations could be overhauled - Herald Sun - 8 April 2015

Fringe benefits tax exemptions for charity organisations could be overhauled - Herald Sun - 8 April 2015 | CCA on the record | Scoop.it
A KEY tax concession available to charities could be overhauled as part of the Abbott Government’s review of the tax system.
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