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Australian Charities Say Millions Of Dollars Wasted In Trying To Comply With Regulations

Charity Image

As much as $15 million every year in charity donations is being wasted on admin costs instead of being delivered to those people in need or victims of disaster. The charity sector is worth $134 billion and argues that it is simply drowning in red tape. There is so much bureaucracy that as many as 45,000 registered charities are being forced to break the law because they simply find they cannot comply with multiple regulations.

Too much red tape

Over 100 of the country’s largest charitable organisations such as the RSPCA and the Smith Family have written an open letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull asking him to fix what they have dubbed an “almighty mess” The letter goes on to add that Australian charities wish to do the right thing but brush up against the rules which work against them. There are regulations at the Federal, State and Territory level and those Governments need to work together in order to provide charities with one set of coherent laws that are consistent nationally. The new laws should be modern and fit for the purpose of the fundraising regime as Australia continues is present review of consumer laws.

Charities run by honest people

The aid agencies say that action is needed immediately, so that their donors who support them can operate under a 21st century nationally consistent and fit for purpose regulatory regime. Over the last couple of years, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission withdrew the legal status of 37 organisations which resulted in the loss of Commonwealth tax concessions. Susan Pascoe, the commissioner said despite this fact, the vast majority of organisations registered with the Commission were run by dedicated and honest people.

There were a number of signatories to the letter which demanded fundraising reform. These include:

  •  Oxfam Australia,
  • World Vision
  • The Law Council of Australia
  • Mission Australia
  • The Australian Council of Social Services
  • The Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Philanthropy Australia
  • Mission Australia

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Get Free Shipping On Orders Valued At $50 Or More From The Oxfam Shop – Offer Ends 28-05-17

Oxfam Australia Says The Country Needs To Do More To Fight Climate Change

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"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Oxfam Calls Australian Juvenile Detention System A National Disgrace

Juvenile Detention

Oxfam Australia chief executive Dr Helen Szoke has responded to an interim report by the Royal Commission into juvenile detention in the Northern Territory. Dr Szoke says that the report documents a wide variety of evidence which suggests that children have been appallingly mistreated, most of which are Aboriginal young people who find themselves in custody. She adds that the report is a damning indictment of a justice system that does not work for children that have been entrusted to its care. The reports description of the conditions children face is both harsh and bleak which is likely to leave children in the system more damaged than when they came in.

Over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in detention are chronically over represented which Dr Szoke says is a national disgrace. These children are 25 times more likely to be detained than non-indigenous juvenile offenders. She adds this is a crisis which has a devastating impact on the lives of young people and the country should be ashamed of itself. The crisis requires an urgent national plan of action.

Punitive rather than rehabilitative

Dr Szoke says the report is confirmation that the juvenile detention system is meant to punish instead of giving young offenders the chance to rehabilitate. She adds that Oxfam Australia is partnering with more than 100 organisations in urging Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to assume a leadership role and engage with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities so that immediate action can be taken to improve the country’s youth justice system

“Oxfam is urging the Federal Government to adopt the Change the Record Coalition’s ‘Blueprint for Change’, a concrete plan for the Federal, State and Territory Governments put together by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous organisations to change the record on soaring Aboriginal imprisonment rates and high levels of violence. “

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Australian Branch Of Effective Altruism Has Been Launched

charity

Peter Singer the philosopher and philanthropist has launched the Australian branch of Effective Altruism. Mr Singer says the organisation is targeted at an emerging global movement of people who on one hand really want to make a difference in the world but want to do so on the basis of evidence of what is the most effective thing then can do. These people according to Mr Singer look at research to suggest what really is going to be the most effective thing to do.

Thousands of charities

There are more than 54,000 charities registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and it is estimated that combined the sector is valued at $103 billion. Effective Altruism is not a charity by itself. Instead it promotes partner charities that it says has been thoroughly vetted by making use of supporting academic literature.

Providing the research

Mr Singer dismissed the criticism that such an approach to giving which is calculated and researched may go against the spirit of charity for some people. He argues when we want things for ourselves, normally we do our homework. If we want to buy a laptop for example, we do the research. This is what Effective Altruism is attempting to do. Put the research out there on the web which shows which are the most effective charities people can donate to.

The approach has its critics

The approach by Effective Altruism has been criticised for being “moralistic” and driving donations towards larger more established charities. It is argued that the approach claims the moral high ground in giving decisions without justification according to Ken Berger and Robert Penn writing in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Mr Singer who himself is a professor says the underlying philosophy was just about ensuring each dollar makes the biggest impact and in fact many smaller organisations do make the cut. Professor Singer responds that smaller groups are far easier to evaluate because they tend to do just one thing such as distributing bed nets, or perform cataract operations. This makes them easier to assess whether you are getting your money’s worth

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Caritas Australia Responds To Crisis In The Horn Of Africa

famine africa

Famine has been declared in South Sudan and Caritas Australia is doing its bit to provide support to the people that live there. At the end of February, the United Nations formally declared famine in two counties within the state. The areas included the Northern-central region of the country where approximately 100,000 people face the prospect of starvation. The UN World Food Programme reckons about 4.9 million people are in desperate need of food throughout the country.

Multiple countries affected

The potential for famine in not limited to just South Sudan, countries across the Horn of Africa are also being impacted. This includes Somalia, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia and Kenya. The continuing conflict which began in South Sudan back in December 2013 has had a major impact on the crisis. There are as many as 1.85 million people internally displaced and farmers have been unable to plant crops. This has resulted in severe malnutrition rates. Climate change has also not helped the situation either.

Caritas Australia coordinating with other agencies

Caritas Australia runs programs in South Sudan as well as the other countries that comprise the Horn of Africa including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. Caritas Australia is also lending its support to both the global and local Caritas network in a coordinated response to the crisis. The agency’s work in South Sudan has concentrated on delivering food security as well as providing hygiene. The agency is also ensuring HIV and AIDS patients receive treatment as well as focusing on Disaster Risk Reduction, emergency assistance and peace-building. Caritas Australia remains in close contact with the agency’s partners in the countries affected by the countries and is ready to participate in the emergency response.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Free Shipping From The Oxfam Shop For Orders Over $50 – Offer Ends 17-04-17

Oxfam Australia Says The Country Needs To Do More To Fight Climate Change

The Oxfam Shop has a great offer right now. If you spend $50 or more, you will be entitled to receive free shipping on your order. Simply make a purchase worth $50 or more on or before Monday 17th April and enter coupon code EASTERFREE50 at checkout and this deal could be yours. Hurry this offer is for a limited time only, so head to the Oxfam Shop today.

How To Get This Deal

  • Visit the Oxfam Shop before 17th April 2017
  • Spend $50 or more
  • Enter coupon code EASTERFREE50 at checkout
  • Get free shipping on your order

Shop Now at Oxfam

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Oxfam Australia Urges Government To Develop New Relationship With First Australians

Oxfam Australia Says The Country Needs To Do More To Fight Climate Change

Aid agency Oxfam has expressed its support for calls that urge the Australian Government to develop a new relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as well as commit to funding the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. The calls came at a breakfast event last month at Parliament House. The event saw Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal peak organisations formally hand over the Redfern Statement to Malcolm Turnbull.

Still getting the short end of the stick

Helen Szoke Oxfam Australia’s Chief Executive said whilst there had been some improvements during the decade since the community driven initiative to Close the Gap first started, Indigenous Australian still continue to receive the short end of the stick on a range of measures which is unacceptable. According to Dr Szoke the life span of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Peoples is more than 10 to 17 years shorter than non-Aboriginal Australians. They also claim the highest suicide rates globally and are being imprisoned at unprecedented rates.

The relationship needs to be reset

Last June Oxfam joined forces with several indigenous and non-indigenous organisations across Australia to show its support for the launch of the Redfern Statement. The Statement calls for the relationship between the Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be reset. The statement also urges the Australian Government to provide funding for Indigenous programs and adopt the policies proposed by Indigenous leaders and organisations.

The Government has been cutting funding

Dr Szoke says that decisions taken by the Federal Government such as more than $500 million in cuts to Indigenous programs and the defunding of the National Congress suggest that policy makers were talking the talk but not walking the walk. Dr Szoke added that many Indigenous leaders are labelling the present situation a crisis. They argue that the Government is simply paying lip service to Close the Gap targets. If the Government does not meaningfully engage with the community, another generation could be condemned to face the acute poverty and injustice of present day Aboriginals.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Manchester United Legends Team To Play Charity Match In Perth To Raise Cancer Awareness

Manchester United

Some of the biggest names ever to have worn Manchester United colours, a club that represents English football royalty are on their way to play a game in Perth. The team will include former players such as Teddy Sheringham, Paul Scholes, Denis Irwin and Dwight Yorke. The players will be part of a team that will face an all-star side of former Australian players in a match that will take place at nib Stadium in March.

Raising money for both UK and Australian charities

The match will raise money for the Foundation operated by Manchester United which works with young people in the United Kingdom. Some of the proceeds will also go towards local charitable organisation DT38 Foundation. DT38 was established by Tracy Tombides after her son Dylan passed away. Dylan Tombides was an Australian footballer who played with English Premier League team West Ham and died at the young age of 20, after battling testicular cancer.

Raising cancer awareness

The goal of the DT38 Foundation is to raise awareness of cancer and to battle against the stigma the come with men’s health, in particular testicular cancer. Dylan’s father Jim said it was a huge honour for the family to have Dylan’s foundation be chosen to be one of the nominated charities that will benefit from such a huge event. The Manchester United Legends team will be managed by Bryan Robson who was also a former Manchester United player and England captain.

Massive opportunity to educate young men

Natasha Evans, managing director of DT38 Foundation says the match was a huge opportunity to raise awareness about the need for young men to get tested for cancer. It was also an opportunity to educate young men about the need for them to conduct self-checks.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Caritas Asks For Your Help In Response To Civil War In Syria

Syrian Refugees

Caritas Australian in collaboration with its global network is continuing to provide support to people in the Middle East as the Syria crisis continues. Aleppo was caught in the middle of an intense 4-year civil war between the Government of Syria and rebels. The fighting intensified and civilians continued to flee Eastern parts of the city that were held by opposition. As of the 23rd December 2016, the Syrian Government retook control of the city.

How Caritas is responding

The continuing situation for the city is still grim despite the battle for control officially coming to an end. The global Caritas network which includes Caritas Australia is still offering support to Syrian families through funding and programs. Caritas has offered funding to people fleeing the civil war in Syria. During 2015 the global aid agency provided assistance to 1.8 million Syrian families. The programs provided by Caritas include:

  • Support for mental health.
  • The provision of basic healthcare such as GP clinics and secondary services such as surgery.
  • Educational and social services.
  • Food, water, shelter sanitation, hygiene and non-food items such as bedding and clothing.

Caritas Australia is doing its bit to assist those people who have fled from Syria to other Middle Eastern nations such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey through its emergency appeals and has managed to contribute $5.58 million through appeals. Once again, the aid agency of the Catholic church asks you to contribute so it can continue to make funding available to victims of the ongoing crisis.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Oxfam Highlights Extreme Wealth Inequality In Australia

wealth inequality

The two wealthiest people in Australia, Harry Triguboff and Gina Rinehart own more assets than the country’s 20 per cent poorest people according to research from Oxfam Australia. Mr Triguboff and Ms Rinehart are worth a combined A$21.5 billion easily placing them in the wealthiest one per cent of Australia who when put together have more wealth then the bottom 70 per cent.

Global report

The statistics were part of a global report titled ‘An Economy For The 99 per cent’, whose release was timed to coincide as the global elite gathered for the World Economic Forum in Switzerland last month. Dr Helen Szoke Oxfam Australia’s chief executive says the gap between Australia’s rich and poor reflects a global trend. Dr Szoke adds that the scale of the crisis in global wealth inequality is far greater than what was feared.

Concentration of wealth

The world’s eight richest people, a list which include Bill Gates who founded Microsoft and Mark Zuckerberg who runs Facebook, own as much as the poorest half of the world’s population or roughly 3.6 billion people. Dr Szoke says that the world’s eight richest people have a combined net worth of US$426 billion. This extreme divide between rich and poor runs the risk of producing political crisis for future generations and undermining democratic institutions whilst also creating economic upheaval.

More transparency needed

Dr Szoke says that whilst the world’s wealthiest people are often the most generous, so much wealth concentrated in the hands of just eight people illustrates just how broken the economic system really is. Dr Szoke is calling on the Australian government to establish tougher laws that force multinational companies based in Australia to publicly report income and profits they earn in every jurisdiction they operate in. Dr Szoke says it is critical that Australia ends the extreme concentration of wealth.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

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