Submission: Productivity Commission Draft Report into Philanthropy

9 February 2024

The Productivity Commission’s draft report – Future Foundations for Giving – has provided a range of recommendations about philanthropic giving in Australia. Independent Schools Australia (ISA) welcomes this opportunity to provide feedback on the draft report.

In February 2023, the Productivity Commission was tasked with an Inquiry into Philanthropic Giving. The inquiry aims to better understand philanthropy and identify opportunities and obstacles to increasing it in Australia. The draft report, titled “Future Foundations for Giving,” provides recommendations related to philanthropic giving. Independent Schools Australia (ISA) has submitted feedback on the draft report, emphasizing the role of independent schools in fostering a culture of giving among students and their communities.

The Productivity Commission report includes some recommendations of concern, including one to reform the Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) System by removing DGR status for school building funds, citing concerns about potential misuse of tax-deductible donations. ISA has cautioned that student scholarships, many of which go to Indigenous Australians and students from low socio-economic backgrounds, may be in jeopardised if the government took away the ability for parents and communities to make tax-deductible school donations.