Building Capacity, Building Community

In brief

  • Through the pandemic and a recession, floods and bushfires, Scott Morrison has expected charities to step up whenever his government has failed, dumping more work on a sector he’s routinely undermined. 

  • Charities and non-profits need more support from the Federal Government and recognition of their work strengthening communities. 

  • An Albanese Labor Government will help to boost the resources available to our charities and we’ll work with the sector so that Australian charities can evolve and expand their impact.

Why do we need this?

The Morrison Government has waged a war on charities. Under the Liberals, Australia’s charities and non-profits have undergone a series of attacks on their authority, autonomy and resources. 

The non-profit sector accounts for eight per cent of GDP and employs around 1.3 million Australians. Even a small increase in the impact of the sector will have massive benefits across society, but little work has been done to help charities evolve and improve their impact. 

The details

Labor will increase capacity in the charity sector to help charities and non-profits do more of their vital work increasing participation and trust in society and strengthening community networks. We’ll do this by: 

  • Convening a Non-profit Sector Expert Reference Panel to draw up a blueprint that will set out how Australia’s charities can reach their potential. 

  • Creating an ongoing working group to guide the implementation of that plan, and to cultivate the sector’s role as experienced community builders and responders to isolation and social disconnection.  

  • Encouraging an efficient, informed and independent sector by modernising fundraising regimes, and protecting advocacy. 

  • Working with charities and donors to double philanthropic giving by 2030. 
Doubling philanthropic giving

An Albanese Labor Government will work with the philanthropic sector to double philanthropic giving by 2030. 

Labor knows philanthropy is not about donors stepping up so that government can step back. We want philanthropy to partner with communities, charities and policymakers to find new and creative solutions to the challenge of building a better society.  

By developing a stronger and smarter culture of giving, Labor will unlock additional support for organisations that lift the vulnerable, address disadvantage and enrich our communities.   

If we get our giving culture right, philanthropy can help build a reconnected Australia.   

Fix Fundraising

Labor will save Australian charities millions of dollars every year by fixing our nation’s outdated fundraising laws, allowing more money to flow to people in need.   

When natural disasters devastate communities, Australians are generous with donations and support. But the current charity fundraising laws are getting in the way of the best trained resilience, response and rebuilding organisations doing vital work.   

Charities who want to raise money online through a national campaign currently need to file registration paperwork in every State and Territory, except the Northern Territory. These seven sets of forms can often take charities up to a week to comply with, sucking up resources that could otherwise be used to help vulnerable Australians rebuild their lives.   

Community charities are wasting millions of dollars keeping up with laws that were written long before the internet existed.  

Non-profit Sector Expert Reference Plan

Australia’s charity and non-profit sector is eight per cent of the economy, ten per cent of the workforce, and mobilises three million volunteers. They’re the first line of support for the most vulnerable in our communities, and have helped millions of Australians rebuild their lives after floods, fires and economic hits. 

The future of the sector is too important to our economy and our communities to progress without planning or strategic investment. Even a one per cent productivity increase would add $1.4 billion to the resources available to the sector, creating more jobs in the sector and providing services to more Australians. 

The Non-profit Sector Expert Reference Panel will work with Treasury, business, volunteering, philanthropy and others to produce a Sector Development Plan charting a more productive future for the sector, boosting its capacity to support and reconnect our communities. 

'Building Community – Building Capacity' Working Group

The working group will guide the implementation of the Sector Development Plan, as well as coaching the charity and community sector in its role as frontline responders in building a reconnected Australia. 

The social impacts of loneliness and social disconnection are becoming better understood and a higher priority for government. The working group will work to measure the impact of isolation and the efficacy of solutions to social fragmentation. Drawing on trials, research and consultation, the group will identify effective ways to amplify the community sector’s role addressing isolation and building community.