This article was produced by our founder and CEO, Martyn Ryan.
When it comes claiming our expenses over tax time, we immediately think of all the travel and stationery deductions we can claim, but what about charity-donation deductions?
The 2016 Koda Capital Australian Giving Snapshot provides insights into the state of tax deductible giving in Australia. Drawing on statistics from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the report shows that it was a great year for tax-deductible giving in Australia with an 11.7% increase in giving, driven by increased contributions to Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs) and Public Ancillary Funds (PuAFs) along with Workplace Giving.
I believe this increase in giving is symbolic of our desire to do good. Giving is in our DNA, we want to help, but there also has to be processes that allow us to effectively channel our giving efforts.
Tax-deductible giving increased 11.7% to $2.6 billion
The average gift increased 14.2% to $576
The number of tax-deductible gifts decreased 2.2% to 4.5 million donations
Donations through Workplace Giving increased 10.7% to $31 million
Donations into PAFs increased 76% to $517 million
Tax-deductible giving outside of PAFs and PuAFs decreased 6.1%
Who’s giving the most?
Based on the completed tax returns for 2014, 35.1% of taxpayers made a tax-deductible gift. A higher proportion of women than men made a deductible gift (36.5% compared to 33.8%). Women also gave a higher proportion of their income than men (0.38% compared to 0.34%).
When pitting the states against each other, NSW had the highest average gift and the greatest level of tax-deductible gifts claimed as a proportion of taxable income. The ACT, however, had the highest proportion of taxpayers claiming a gift.
The report shows that workplace giving is on the rise, with the number of employees using workplace giving increasing 10.1% between 2012-13 & 2013-14.
Furthermore, 4.7% of employees offered workplace giving took it up, representing 156,289 individuals.
But what about the 3.1 million employees who were offered workplace giving didn't take it up? I think reflects the need for businesses to have an effective and efficient CSR program that enables employees to give in their own way.
I believe we all have an ‘imprint’ that drives us to support and help others in times of need. Tapping into these individual imprints is what creates a successful CSR strategy,
In order to truly harness workplace giving, businesses need to tailor their community giving programs to suit employee interests and passions. Individuals want to give in a way that suits their busy lifestyles, but also want to find a community of like-minded people that they can share their passions with.
I’ve worked with many top level companies, such as Sparke Helmore Lawyers and Smartgroup Corporation, helping them realign their community giving programs to suit the interests and passions of their employees. By conducting focus groups and employee surveys, these businesses have been able to grow and refine their CSR programs by tailoring them to employees. This prevents what I refer to as ‘giving waste.’
Effectively utilising your employee’s desire to give does more than promote a strong workplace culture, it also helps promote a strong brand image and improves ROI. With 70% of Millennials choosing to work for a company with an effective CSR program, businesses should make CSR part of their businesses strategy and development.