Spending Money for Good

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Spending Money for Good

With thousands of charities and projects competing for your support, it’s important to do some research to make sure your money will go where you want it to

Here are some things to think about before you decide to donate to a charity or contribute to a crowd funding project.

1. Choosing a charity to donate to
Your decision to support one charity over another is usually based on your interest in the cause the charity supports. You may also choose a charity as a way of remembering a deceased relative or friend. Whatever your motivation, it’s important to make sure you are comfortable with the charity’s activities and how it plans to use the donations it receives.
Donating directly to an overseas-based charity can be risky as it may be difficult to verify the information found on websites or social media sites. 
You may prefer to donate to an Australian charity that supports the cause or project you’re interested in. Many Australian charities operate overseas but are based in Australia.
Things to check before you donate
a. Check it’s a legitimate charity
If the name of the charity is unfamiliar, ask for more information. For example, ask:
• What cause do you support?
• Where is the charity based?
• What are donations used for?
• Are you affiliated with any other charities or organisations?
• Are donations tax deductible?
It pays to be careful, even if you get a satisfactory response to these questions.
If you’ve been approached face-to-face, ask to see some identification and a copy of the charity’s pledge form. These should contain:
• the full name of the organisation
• the corporate registration number such as an Australian Business Number
• the business address
• the organisation’s logo. 

Call the charity directly to verify their contact details and be sure to cross check their phone number in the telephone directory.
Charities must also be registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). You can check the ACNC website, to see if the charity is registered. Alternatively, the charity may display a Tick of Charity Registration (from the ACNC) to show they are a registered charity. 
b. Check if the donation is tax deductible

A donation is only tax deductible if it is given to a charity that has been endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as a deductible gift recipient (DGR) organisation.
To receive a deduction the donation must be $2 or more and must be claimed in your tax return for the income year in which the donation was made. In some circumstances, you can elect to spread the tax deduction over five income years. For more information visit the ATO’s gifts and donations webpage. 

You can check if an organisation is a DGR by visiting the Australian Business Register or phoning the ATO on 13 28 61.

2. Ways to donate

There are a number of ways you can donate to a charity.

• One-off or ongoing – You may decide to make a regular, set donation or you may prefer making a one-off donation following a particular fundraising campaign or an urgent need, like a natural disaster. 

• Workplace giving – You can support a charity through automatic deductions from your salary. If your
employer has a workplace giving scheme your donation can be deducted from your pay and sent directly to your preferred charity. 

• Leave a bequest in your will – Another way of donating is to leave a bequest in your will. Contact the charity directly to discuss your plans. 

• Get involved – Instead of a cash donation, you could contribute to your favourite charity by donating goods, your time or even your skills or expertise.


3. How to complain about a charity

You can complain about a charity to the relevant state or territory regulator. To find the regulator in your state visit the ATO: State and territory government requirements – fundraising. You can also complain to the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission if the charity is registered, see the ACNC: Raise a concern about a charity webpage.

Australian charities working in the area of overseas aid, who get funding from AusAID, must be members of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), and must adhere to the ACFID Code of Conduct. For more information about the code, including its signatories and how to register a complaint, see the ACFID: Code of Conduct webpage. 

Be wary of giving credit card details

If you’ve been contacted by phone do not give out your credit card or banking details. There will be other ways of donating if it’s a reputable charity. 

Ask about these options and make sure you check the validity of any website or social media page you’re directed to. 

 

Chris Connolly
Connolly Wealth Management
Level 1, 441 South Road
Bentleigh  VIC  3204

(P) 03 9591 8000
(F) 03 9530 8375
(E) chris@connollywealth.com.au
(W) www.connollywealth.com.au

Disclosure: Christopher Connolly (280099) and Connolly Wealth Management Pty Ltd (333350) are Authorised Representatives of Wealthsure Financial Services Pty Ltd AFSL 326450.

Disclaimer
The information contained in this email and its links/attachments are general in nature and does not take into account your personal circumstances, financial needs or objectives. Before acting on any information, you should consider the appropriateness of it and the relevant product having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. In particular, you should seek the appropriate financial advice and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or other offer document prior to acquiring any financial products.

To find out about the latest charity scams see the ACCC’s SCAM watch charity scams webpage.

Source: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/managingyour-money/donating

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