CEO Update

I hope that you, your loved ones and colleagues are staying healthy and safe. The coronavirus pandemic has made a dramatic impact on the way we live and work. Walking the silent streets of my neighbourhood in the evening gives me an inkling of what my grandparents must have experienced in the influenza pandemic of 1918-19.

It’s a relief that the Morrison government has passed the $130 billion support package with the JobKeeper payment, which will support Australian jobs and help cushion the blow from the economic impact of COVID-19. Funds start to flow this week, and JobKeeper will be very welcome in the charitable and not-for-profit sector.

For registered charities (except schools and universities), the threshold for eligibility is a decline in turnover of 15 per cent or more, under changes announced on 6 April. Charities are allowed to exclude any government revenue from the JobKeeper turnover test.

To ensure the integrity and efficient operation of the JobKeeper payment, the Government clarified the operation of the rules on 24 April. In a media release, Treasurer the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP said this about charities:

“This will allow employing charities receiving revenue from government to use either their total turnover, or their turnover excluding government revenue, for the purposes of assessing eligibility for the JobKeeper payment. This will help to ensure that the eligibility of charities is not adversely affected where they are delivering significant services that are funded by government.”

In the current situation, we’re staying connected to our members remotely to find out what you’re experiencing and how we can support you. Your feedback helps us to ensure you receive what you need from us, so please let us know how we can help.

Many organisations are seeing the benefits of FIA membership and I’m delighted to welcome several new members to our community. A shoutout to the following:

Asthma Australia Since 1962, Asthma Australia has been working to improve the lives of people with asthma. Their current priorities include maximising people’s accessibility of and adherence to evidence-based treatments and medications for asthma, providing information, education and resources, addressing community safety, and improving care systems and protocols. Asthma Australia is currently working on a revitalised National Asthma Research Program to generate improvements in the lives of people with asthma.

Arthritis South Australia (Arthritis SA) is a charitable organisation that strives to improve the quality of life of people with arthritis and related conditions. The organisation is dedicated to reducing the social and economic burdens of arthritis and does this by funding research, providing education and giving support. Arthritis SA also creates awareness about arthritis and advocates on behalf of people with arthritis to all levels of government.

ntegrity is an award-winning digital strategy agency based in Melbourne. Over the past seven years, the team has worked with hundreds of companies and causes, helping them become more successful and confident in the digital realm. ntegrity also commissions and publishes research on digital success to understand the challenges faced by organisations.

Starling is a new organisation established by Kaz McGrath, co-founder of the award-winning Ration Challenge. It brings together ambitious leaders, bold organisations and great agencies to work collaboratively on purpose-driven projects. Starling offers a unique model that breaks down barriers and drives collective impact.

AVI For the past 65 years, AVI has committed to achieving economic and social development across Asia, the Pacific and beyond. This Australian non-profit organisation
connects people to bring about change by sharing their skills, knowledge and experience through international pathways and networks. AVI combines extensive cross-sector networks with an evidence-based approach, which contributes to economic, social and environmental change for communities in our region and beyond.

Usually, we celebrate #GivingTuesday in December, but #GivingTuesdayNow is an emergency response to the need created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The event kicks off tomorrow with a global day of action to encourage communities around the world to give back.

For the following Tuesdays in May, Australians will be encouraged to give back, with a focus on giving thanks, giving local, giving time, and giving together. Like in many countries, the Australian fundraising sector is having a challenging time at the moment the country really needs the funds for programs and services.  #GivingTuesdayNow is a way to help. Please support the initiative in any way you can.

Katherine Raskob
FIA Chief Executive