Free Kick for Charities

By Johns, Gary | Review - Institute of Public Affairs, December 2003 | Go to article overview

Free Kick for Charities


Johns, Gary, Review - Institute of Public Affairs


ARNOLD Block Liebler recently made a submission to tbe Board Of Taxation on trie Charities BiM 2001 on behalf of the Australian Conservation Foundation, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the Wilderness Society and a host of other 'environmental charities'. It is consistent with that of the Australian Council of Social Services. They could be summed up thus-charities are good, leave them alone, and do not ask them to account for their taxsupported activities.

The IPA, which also made a submission, begs to differ. Charities have changed the way they do business. The work of charities is more political than was once the case, indeed the very notion of a charity is problematic. None of this would matter if charity status did not carry certain tax-assisted privileges. As it does, there is a need to scrutinize, if not delimit, the activities of charities. The combination of public assistance and a liberal attitude to the nature of charity work is best balanced by disclosure by charities to donors of two key concepts: the efficiency of the charity and the nature of the work undertaken in the name of the charity.

As it stands, the Chanties BiK bans 'partisan' lobbying and restricts 'nonpartisan' lobbying by charities. ABL and ACOSS argue that a charity is defined by reference to its purposes and not by its activities. At present, a charity cannot have illegal or political purposes. The common law recognizes that a charity may engage in activities which can be broadly called 'political', such as advocating for change, so long as that is not the purpose for which the charity is established or its dominant activity.

It is ...a matter of necessity for charities not only to undertake advocacy activities but also to be able to have as a 'purpose' the purpose of systemic advocacy for change, to enable them to address the very causes of the problems which they seek to address.

These views come as no surprise to those familiar with the sector. For example, the Queensland Conservation Council boasts 60 representatives sitting as environmental consultants on committees throughout the State. Welfare charities used to help the poor, now they want to overcome inequality. Russell RoIlason of Anglicare said recently, 'Is the role of charities and churches simply to apply band aids to the victims of our competitive society or should charities actively contribute to a fairer more just Australia?' Why not just run for Parliament Russell!

Charities are in there boots and all, but is the electorate comfortable with paying charities to lobby? Some countries place limitations on the resources devoted to lobbying, others on the nature of the lobbying activity. Australian charities want none of this. Moreover, to the extent they accept any regulation, they argue for a Charities Commission, as in the UK. They would hope to capture such a commission, turning it into an advocacy body, like the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, not a regulator, like the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

LOBBYING BY CHARITIES

There is an assumption in the public support of charities: that a donor understands the purpose of the charity. When the charity's methods are direct-giving aid to the poor, planting trees, and writing letters to foreign governments on behalf of political prisoners-the task of informing the donor is not great, hecause the purpose is unambiguous. As the methods and definition of charities have widened, the assumption of donor knowledge may not hold. The charity no longer gives direct aid to the poor, it wants to use the tax system to achieve equality. Does lohhying to create more generous unemployment benefits or a more progressive tax system constitute charity for the poor, or is it the pursuit of an egalitarian ideology? Is lohhying to tax hydrocarbons a public benefit or the pursuit of an environmental ideology based on assumptions of resource depletion? Is lobbying for an International Criminal Court the pursuit of human rights, or the pursuit of an agination-state ideology? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Free Kick for Charities
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.