June 8, 2010
Giving season has begun in Australia, with thousands of dollars pouring in to help support the hundreds of causes listed on Australia's most user-friendly online giving service, GiveNow.com.au.
June is shaping up as a record-breaker for GiveNow.com.au, with the impending end of financial year providing an incentive for donors seeking last-minute deductions.
Already, donors have broken records during May, using their credit cards to hand over close to half a million dollars to GiveNow-listed causes, making it the biggest lead-up to the end of financial year on record for the decade-old giving service.
And for the first time in Australia, donors using GiveNow.com.au now have access to a donation-tracking service that collates donations throughout the year and sends a consolidated tax receipt on the first day of July.
The My Giving function is designed to make life much easier for the 64% of Australians who donate to a community group who don't claim a tax deduction at the end of the financial year.
The tax receipt issued by GiveNow.com.au lists all donations made during that year - specifying which of those are eligible for tax deductions (not all not-for-profit groups can offer a tax deduction).
"Donors can log on to their My Giving page at GiveNow.com.au any time to view their donations history," said GiveNow.com.au director Hannah Schwartz. "That means no more storage of receipts for a whole year, no more little bits of paper - just one receipt, from one place, listing all of your donations, sent through to you at tax time, right when you need it."
The commission-free online donations service has collected close to $14 million in the past decade and has been used by more than 58,000 donors.
GiveNow.com.au currently lists more than 1700 causes, from Aardvark Worldwide (an organisation for young people with serious illnesses) to the Zig Zag Young Women's Resource Centre - providing the A to Z of giving in Australia.
GiveNow.com.au also offers lists of other, non-financial ways to give things like bikes, blankets, books and boots, as well as advice on how to become a foster carer, adopt an abandoned animal, leave a bequest or become an organ donor.
The service also provides a free monthly e-newsletter designed to provide the knowledge and tools Australians need to become bigger, better, smarter givers.
Tax Time Giving - 2010
This financial year is gearing up to be GiveNow.com.au's biggest on record. As at midnight on June 7, 2010, GiveNow.com.au figures show:
- Donations of $455,244 during May (including two separate donations of $25,000 each), compared with $270,683 in May 2009
- Donations of $143,784 in the first week in June, compared with $99,257 in the first week of June 2010
- An increase in the total number of donors using the service, from 29,033 so far this financial year, as compared with 25,653 using the service during the 2008/09 financial year.
- Average donation amounts are down - from $110 per donation during 2008/09 to $94 so far during 2009/10
GiveNow.com.au is an initiative of the Our Community Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation established through the financial support of Our Community - www.ourcommunity.com.au. Our Community is a social enterprise that provides help and services for community organisations and the businesses, governments and other organisations that support them. Find out more about Our Community here: www.ourcommunity.com.au/aboutus.
The Our Community enterprise provides funding to support the operations of the Our Community Foundation, a principal activity of which is the operation of the GiveNow.com.au website.
This commission-free online donations service is part of Our Community's mission to democratise giving in Australia - ensuring that even the tiniest community groups have the same access to safe, secure online donations technology as the largest groups. It is our belief that these small, grassroots community groups are every bit as important to community life as the larger ones, and that they should be supported by their communities.
We also believe that donations made in good faith to community organisations should not be subjected to hefty commissions and/or administrative fees. The GiveNow.com.au online donations service is offered free to any community group in Australia, regardless of size or purpose or tax status. The service is non-exclusive, non-binding and fee-free (only credit card fees are deducted from donations). This allows any legitimate community group with a bank account and the will to raise funds to take advantage of this important and rapidly growing mode of fundraising.
We also seek to raise the profile of giving in general - providing a range of ideas on non-monetary ways to give as well as help sheets on how people can become more strategic givers.
In addition, GiveNow News, a monthly e-newsletter, provides ongoing education for members of the Australian public who want to become smarter, better givers.
GiveNow.com.au was launched in March 2000 as the Australian Giving Centre, housed on the Our Community website at www.ourcommunity.com.au. The service was renamed GiveNow.com.au in January 2009, and relaunched with a new website in November of that year.
The service is proudly supported by Westpac.