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Charity more than tax dodge

DONATING to a charity is not only tax deductible but socially beneficial, says Australian Red Cross manager of public affairs Saskia Verschoor.

“Donating to an organisation such as Red Cross not only offers tax benefits, it’s also a great investment in the

community,” Ms Verschoor said.

“We provide some 20 different services here in WA, helping everyone from newborn babies with disabilities to elderly people living alone.

“Most people need Red Cross at some stage in their lives and, in turn, we need people to support us.

“It makes sense to donate now before the introduction of the GST,” she said.

Mission Australia CEO Patrick McClure said WA business leaders should think creatively about building community partnerships.

He said benefits included increased local profile and customer loyalty. “People are increasingly asking ‘Why should I choose company X over company Y?’,” Mr McClure said.

“If they see that company X is putting back into the community – they’ll choose company X. “From community days to foundations, sponsorships, payroll deductions, skills assistance or personal involvement, there are no limits to the types of partnerships you can devise,” he said.

Mr McClure cited Mission Australia’s successful partnership with Lend Lease, which was selected as the winner of the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Business and Community Partnerships from more than 400 nominations nationwide.

O’Keefe & Partners’ 2000 Australian Giving Trends Report claims corporate philanthropy (charitable giving with no expectation of commercial or in-kind return) has fallen by around 20 per cent since 1998. O’Keefe & Partners managing director Brian O’Keefe said companies were investing more in long-term partnerships with charities.

“Most recently Len Poulter, together with the Lenards network of outlets, have pledged $150,000 to the Make A Wish Foundation,” Mr O’Keefe said.

“Lenards have stocked each store in Australia with specially designed Make A Wish Foundation pins and are donating money for each kilogram of product sold.

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