Issue Guide: Productivity Commission’s Review into Philanthropic Giving in Australia

1. The issue in brief

Demand for Christian schools is high and enrolments are on the rise. With this growth comes a need for more school buildings (e.g. classrooms and playgrounds) and the expansion of existing facilities and services.

Governments (Federal and state) only provide a fraction of the funding for capital projects at independent schools. In fact, 86% of this funding comes from parents and donations from the broader school community.

The deductible gift recipient (DGR) system in Australia allows certain charitable organisations (including Christian schools) to offer tax deductible donations to their donors. 

In 2023, the Australian Government Productivity Commission started a review of the DGR system, with a draft report from the Commission recommending a number of changes including that “charities that have DGR status for school building funds” have their DGR status withdrawn.

2. What could this mean for your sons and daughters at Christian schools?

If Christian schools no longer qualified for DGR status for building projects, this could result in:

  • Increased school fees to cover capital costs
  • Increased need for Government funding to cover capital costs (or increases in your school fees)
  • Reduced potential for Christian schools to increase enrolments
  • Fewer new Christian schools being built

3. What can you do?

The deadline to respond is 9 February 2024. Before the report is finalised, please send Treasurer Chalmers a message.Perhaps remind him that the government doesn’t have enough budget to build all the school facilities we will need for our common future. And that, given Christian parents like you are willing to donate and build, he should really do all he can to encourage that generosity, and continue the DGR status for building projects at Christian schools.

This campaign has now closed.

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