Giving Donations

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Deciding to Give

Individuals and organisations give for different reasons; some motivations for giving include passion for a cause, religion or faith, peer pressure and to contribute to society. There are many ways in which individuals can give. For example, you can donate your time, money or personal property. You can also give a one off donation or set up an ongoing giving scheme.

Not knowing where to start or to whom to give can be difficult.

Philanthropy Australia External Web site has produced ‘A Guide for Giving for all Australians.’ This publication provides a guide to philanthropy for donors, including how to identify your giving priorities, in what ways you want to give, whether it be financially or through volunteering, and provides assistance in identifying to whom to give. The guide is free and can be downloaded from External Web site.

If you are looking for community organisations in the ACT to give donations to, the ACT Citizens Advice Bureau External Web site has a comprehensive online database of ACT non government organisations. This includes contact details, service descriptions and locations.

Although not a comprehensive directory the following websites provide lists of charities in Australia.

  • OurCommunity External Web site offers an online donation service. 
  • Philanthropy Australia External Web siteprovides a list of its associate members who are also charities.
  • Pro Bono Australia External Web site is a commercial organisation that aims to increase and facilitate the level of philanthropy in Australia. Pro Bono Australia provides a number of services online including a list of charities in Australia, a job search network for non government organisations and a volunteer match program. 
  • AusCharity External Web site provides a data base and a list of charities as well as publishing The Charities Book.

ACT and Region Charities

The following is are trusts and foundations in the ACT.

GreaterGood External Web site, the Capital Region Community Foundation, established in 2003 is Canberra’s own public foundation and provides people of the region with the infrastructure to create their own charitable funds with ease and at low cost.

Administered by the Public Trustee and Guardian for the ACT, the real success of GreaterGood is to encourage residents of the ACT to be more philanthropic by establishing their own named funds to preserve capital and produce perpetual income to help charitable causes achieve their funding requirements.

GreaterGood thereby lives up to its slogan of ‘Linking Good People with Good Causes'.
GreaterGood - The Capital Region Community Foundation External Web site

The Snow Foundation External Web site


Volunteering in the ACT and Region

Volunteering is the provision of a service for an organisation, by choice, without financial remuneration and for the benefit of the community.

Volunteering ACT is the peak body for volunteering in the ACT region. Volunteering ACT works with all aspects of volunteering and all of those who work with volunteers. Volunteering ACT provides a recruitment and referral service to assist organisations to find the right volunteers for the right jobs.

There are two ways in which Volunteering ACT External Web site can assist individuals to volunteer. There is an online search function to find volunteering opportunities in the region or you can arrange a time to meet and have an informal interview to match your desire to give with an appropriate organisation.

Volunteering Australia Wide

Volunteering Australia External Web site is the national peak body for volunteering in Australia. The Volunteering Australia External Web site website provides information on news and events, publications and resources and best practice guides for volunteering in Australia.

Go Volunteer External Web site is an initiative of Volunteering Australia. Go Volunteer provides free internet advertising for non-profit community organisations looking for volunteers as well as a search tool to help find more information about volunteering in your local area.

Donating Money

The ACT Government Report into Philanthropy in the ACT found that in order to attract financial resources, having a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status was attractive. DGRs are funds or organisations that are entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. This means that donors can claim income tax deductions for gifts to DGRs in their income tax returns. Not all organisations and charities have DGR status. To check if the organisation you would like to donate to is a DGR see the Australian Business Register External Web site or for more information on making tax deductible donations see the Australian Tax Office website External Web site

To apply for DGR status see the Australian Tax Office website External Web site website.

Ongoing Donations

Ongoing donations have been identified as a trend in philanthropic giving. Ongoing donations include strategies such as workplace giving and sponsorships or partnerships with businesses which facilitate the creation of a sustainable funding stream. The benefits of establishing ongoing donations for the recipient include:

  • Reduced dependency on a single income stream.
  • Improved chances to operate independently.
  • A build up of reserves to safeguard for the financial future.
  • The creation of a sustainable funding base.

Workplace Giving

Workplace giving is a way for individuals to regularly give to charities and organisations which are entitled to receive tax deductible donations. In order to receive tax deductible donations charities or organisations must have DGR status. To apply for DGR status, see the Australian Tax Office website External Web site information sheet.

Workplace giving is optional and both the employee and the employer must consent to participate.

The benefit of a work place giving program which includes DGRs is that DGRs are able to receive the donations as a lump sum from each employer. This reduces the DGRs costs as they only have to process one payment from each employer. Also, DGRs are not required to issue receipts, although an employer may request a receipt from the DGR.

Employers can set up a workplace giving scheme by creating a list of DGRs and inviting employees to nominate their preferred DGR and the amount they wish to donate. Generally the amount is a fixed amount deducted every pay and paid directly to the DGR by the employer.

For more information on establishing a workplace giving arrangement see the Australian Tax Office website External Web site website.

Sponsorship and Partnerships

The Report found that there has been a trend away from the laissez faire attitude of business to that of increasing interest in partnerships and community investment in ventures that attempt to benefit both the beneficiary and the donor. Some businesses are becoming very aware that philanthropy is an important way to meet the needs of their clients and employees. For example, being an employer of choice with regard to younger staff who are looking at the triple bottom line and in particular at what businesses are doing for the environment or to make a different in their community in relation to corporate social responsibility.

The Giving Australia Report External Web site found that in 2003 - 2004 67% of all Australian Businesses had made some form of donation, whether it be financial or in the provision of services or donation of assets. This trend is consistent with the finding from the survey of NGOs in the ACT which reported that developing partnerships with business was an effective means of fundraising. The Ten Principles of Fundraising is a tool which can be applied to identify and develop relationships with businesses to create a more sustainable funding stream for organisations seeking funding. For more information on the Ten Principles of Fundraising External Web site


A bequest to charity involves leaving some or all of your property or money to a charity after your death. You may choose to leave a specific sum of money or a particular asset, or you can choose to leave a percentage of your estate. It is possible to leave a bequest with a specific request, for example that your donated money or assets are used for a specific purpose, however it is important that your requests do not place unnecessary burdens on the charity to which you are donating. It is a good idea to speak to the charity when making your will to discuss your plans.


A will is a formal written document that provides for the distribution of a persons property and assets to take effect on that person’s death. Individuals can support charitable causes through their wills.

The Public Trustee and Guardian for the ACT provides more information on philanthropic giving via wills and bequests. See their website for more information Public Trustee and Guardian for the ACT External Web site

Further Resources

For further resources on donating go to the Links page.