Global Issues that Affect Our Sector
Crowdfunding and charities – Australia issues Guidance The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has issued information for charities, donors and fundraisers about the use of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is an increasingly popular method of online fundraising for individuals, businesses, not-for-profits and charities. Crowdfunding provides fundraisers with an opportunity to communicate with, and potentially receive funds from, a wider audience than they would ordinarily have access to. Similarly, it also provides donors with a way to donate directly to a wider range of causes from all over the world. The Guidance covers the necessary homework, terms, conditions and fees, the legal requirements, and notes Charities can’t outsource their responsibilities.  See the full article.
Tax Implications of Crowdfunding The Australian Tax Office has issued guidance on the tax implications of this rapidly evolving industry, saying “This information represents our current view of the tax implications of crowdfunding arrangements. As the industry expands and new developments arise, we will review and update the information.” “If you’re involved in crowdfunding – regardless of your role – you need to be aware of the tax consequences. These vary depending on the nature of the arrangement, your role in it and your circumstances. “It is important to determine whether the money you receive through crowdfunding is income and whether you need to consider GST. If it is income, you will need to include it in your tax return and there may be deductions you can claim.  We also explain the GST requirements if you are subject to GST on transactions.” See ATO guidance on the tax implications of crowdfunding.
300 UK charities hit by bank’s efforts to crackdown on illegal funds LONDON (Reuters) – More than 300 UK-based charities have had their bank accounts closed in the last two years after being caught up in a global crackdown on illegal money flows, forcing the government to explore how to allow them easier access to the financial system. Thousands more charities have had operations disrupted by delayed payments causing financial losses and risks to employees, Britain’s Charity Finance Group, that helps to organize charity financing, told Reuters. Major charities Oxfam and Save the Children say they were amongst those hit. The UK government is setting up a panel of charity executives, bankers and officials to meet in the coming months to “drive new policy thinking” to allow legitimate charities to operate unhindered, an official told Reuters. The decision to assemble the working group comes ahead of a review by the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) next March of Britain’s efforts to tackle money-laundering and financing of militant groups. “A more aligned approach between governments, regulators, and NGOs will help to reduce financial crime, whilst ensuring critical and life-saving humanitarian work continues,” one of the affected groups said. See the full article  
Full Indexation a ‘Great Win’ For Community Organisations A funding “shake-up” that will see full indexation on not-for-profit funding contracts in South Australia has been greeted as a “great win” for community organisations. State treasurer Tom Koutsantonis announced at the South Australian Council of Social Service Post-Budget Breakfast on Thursday that the state government would now provide full indexation on not-for-profit funding contracts. From 1 July all contracts will have full indexation included with an indexation rate of 2 per cent for 2017-18 and 2018-19, and 2.5 per cent for 2019-20 and 2020-21. The move, which promises to give consistency across the whole of government and certainty over the amount of funding in multi-year contracts, was welcomed by SACOSS, together with Volunteering SA and NT, Conservation SA, the Arts Industry Council SA and Sport SA. SACOSS CEO Ross Womersley said the new policy would be a great benefit to the not-for-profit sector and would ensure the value of funding of services was not diminished over time. See the article in Pro Bono News.
Will Canada’s Underfunded Small Charities Survive? No one funds charitable capacity. In the charitable world, it’s a transgression of sorts to spend money on yourself — on training people, learning, setting up technology, and building bigger capacity to scale results. Donors and funders will only fund specific programs, and most charities live in a perpetual state of pitching programs rather than core work because they can’t get funded to help build the internal organization. The ridiculous idea that we can’t and shouldn’t invest in charities’ core capacity/infrastructure for fear of operating costs getting out of control will come back to haunt us.
Canada: new report on the political activities of charities The Report of the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities was released in March. In its Executive Summary, the panel outlines its mission with the following paragraph: “To enable and maximize the contributions of charities, we need a regulatory environment that respects and encourages their participation in public policy dialogue and development. This is not currently the case. The legislative framework for regulating charities in Canada is out-dated and overly restrictive.” The Report signals four broad changes that the panel believes will help charities have more of a voice – along with a safer governmental environment to raise that voice without retribution. Among those, the expert panel recommends:
  1. Amend the ITA by deleting any reference to non-partisan “political activities” to explicitly allow charities to fully engage, without limitation, in non-partisan public policy dialogue and development, provided that it is subordinate to and furthers their charitable purposes.
  2. Modernize the legislative framework governing the charitable sector (ITA) to ensure a focus on charitable purposes rather than activities, and adopt an inclusive list of acceptable charitable purposes to reflect current social and environmental issues and approaches.”

Shrinking Spaces and the G20 When the 19 member countries of the G20, and the EU, gathered in Hamburg for the G20 Summit one important topic was not on the agenda: From China to Mexico, Turkey to Russia, Saudi Arabia to India – the respect for fundamental human rights can no longer be taken for granted. This also holds true for some EU member states such as Hungary or Poland. Freedom of expression, assembly and association are universal human rights enshrined in international law. They are the backbone of any democracy worth its name. These rights are the precondition for a life in dignity. They are essential for shaping a sustainable future on this planet. See more at:

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