Information for Neighbourhood Houses/Centres

1. What is the ANHCA Public Fund for DGR?

The ANHCA Public Fund for DGR is a vehicle Neighbourhood Houses/Centres can use to accept tax deductible donations ($20 or over) or apply for grants from philanthropic foundations/trusts and corporations requiring DGR (deductible gift recipient) tax status.

It is overseen by the Australian Neighbourhood Houses and Centres Association (ANHCA) Inc. The listing of ANHCA Inc. for DGR Item 1 status in Division 30, section 30 -45 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, ensures donates of $2 or more to the ANHC Public Fund are tax deductible.

2. What is Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status?

An organisation that has deductible gift recipient (DGR) status can receive tax deductible gifts. An individual or business that makes a donation to an organisation with DGR status can deduct the amount of the donation from their taxable income, which means they pay less tax.

3. How can the ANHCA Public Fund for DGR assist my Neighbourhood House/ Centre?

Neighbourhood Houses/Centres can now use the ANHCA Public Fund for DGR to receive tax deductible donations  and apply for funds from philanthropic organisations and corporate foundations requiring DGR status.

4. Does the existence of the ANHCA Public Fund for DGR mean that my Neighbourhood House and Centre has DGR status in its own right? 

No the DGR status remains with ANHCA, which is why funding applications are lodged in ANHCA’s name and all donations and grants money must be paid through ANHCA to be issued with a tax receipt.

5. Is there a cost to access the ANHCA Public Fund for DGR?

An administrative charge of 5% is deducted from donations and grants. This charge contributes to the costs associated with administrating the ANHCA Public Fund for DGR.

6. Is my Neigbourhood House/Centre eligible?

To be eligible, your Neighbourhood House/Centre must meet the following criteria:

The ANHCA Public Fund for DGR can legally only direct funds to other entities in furtherance of the purposes in ANHCA’s constitution. These are to:

ANHCA can accept funds and direct them for the work carried out by Neighbourhood Houses/Centres, including project-based support and general support.

7. Does the ANHCA Public Fund mean Neighbourhood Houses/Centres can access salary packaging and other tax concessions?

No. Salary packaging is only available for employees directly employed by a Public Benevolent Institution (PBI). The ANHCA Public Fund for DGR is not a PBI and even if it were, it could not pass on additional tax incentives to other organisations.

8. Who is involved with the administration of the ANHCA Public Fund for DGR?

The fund is governed by the ANHCA Public Fund Committee, made up of representatives from the Neighbourhood House and Centre sector, the majority of whom come under the ATO definition of ‘Responsible Persons.’

9. Why don’t all Neighbourhood Houses and Centres have DGR status themselves rather than having to go through the ANHCA Public Fund for DGR?

Ideally, all Neighbourhood Houses/Centres should have DGR status in their own right. Some do – about 14% Australia-wide – but the majority who have applied for DGR status have been turned down from endorsement because the variety of services they provide do not fit into an existing DGR category. ANHCA has lobbied hard for many years to change the tax laws to include a general DGR category for Neighbourhood Houses/Centres.

The ANHCA Public Fund is an important step forward for the sector but it is not the end of the journey. It will certainly assist those who do not have DGR status and are unlikely to obtain it, but Neighbourhood Houses/Centres which believe it is worthwhile for them to pursue DGR status individually should still do so.

10. Which Neighbourhood Houses/Centres have received donations or successfully applied for funds from philanthropic organisations and corporate foundations?

A number of Neighbourhood Houses/Centres have received tax deductible donations and successfully applied for project funding from philanthropic trusts/foundations and corporations requiring DGR status. Community festivals, homework clubs and community restaurants run at Neighbourhood Houses have all been funded as a result of the ANHCA Public Fund for DGR. To learn more about the projects that have been funded with the support of the ANHCA Public Fund for DGR, click here.