The Australian Government has committed to providing $5 million to a new national fund to attract and direct philanthropic donations toward schools in need.
Parliamentary Secretary for School Education, Senator Jacinta Collins announced that the Government will be a foundation donor to the fund, providing an initial $5 million.
This foundation funding will underpin the creation of a national fund aiming to build the capacity of schools in need of assistance to develop philanthropic partnerships, support schools experiencing disadvantage to improve education outcomes, and provide a mechanism to harness and direct philanthropic donations, said Senator Collins.
"Individuals and businesses continue to show that they are prepared to donate money to schools and there would be clear benefits for schools to encourage and expand this at a national level. This is especially true for schools in need that don’t have the expertise or networks to attract these philanthropic donations.”
"While philanthropy should never replace the role of government in funding schools, it is clear that better arrangements should exist to help schools and donors join forces.
"Discussions in the not-for-profit and philanthropic sectors are currently underway regarding the structure of the fund and the Government is confident that further aspects of the fund will be announced soon.”
The creation of a national fund was an important recommendation of the Review of School Funding and ideally would support and complement the valuable work already being done by philanthropic and community organisations to support school education.
The Government has also committed to conferring deductible gift recipient (DGR) status upon the fund that will actively seek tax deductible donations of up to $10 million per annum, said Senator Collins.
"With this status the fund will be given the flexibility to direct funding it attracts towards a broader range of educational uses than school building funds and scholarships, and collaborate with existing organisations to support solutions that address educational disadvantage.”