Great article on the recent Administrative Appeals Tribunal case and its potential consequences for grantmaking! Thank you Philanthropy Australia for posting this blog, with analysis from Emeritus Professor and Life Member of Philanthropy Australia, Dr Myles McGregor-Lowndes OAM.
This article offers insight into what the implications are of the recent Global Citizen case for Public Benevolent Institutions and how it could it lead to more organisations qualifying for much coveted PBI status.
In the latest statistics provided by the Australian Taxation Office about Ancillary Fund distributions, Public Ancillary Funds gave nearly $12m, and Private Ancillary Funds $4.5m, to non-Item DGRs, mostly in error.
The recent decision of Global Citizen (GCL) may provide some relief to these frustrations by widening the purposes of Public Benevolent Institutions (PBI), the largest category of Item 1 DGRs, which are focused on addressing poverty and disadvantage. GCL was not seeking DGR status to facilitate it engaging in public fundraising, but rather, so it could apply for grants from ancillary funds. But its application was knocked back by the ACNC, because of a view that its activities did not fit within the definition of PBI, and GCL then appealed this to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (the Tribunal).The High Court has not considered the definition of PBI since a couple of cases in 1942. The Global Citizen judgment from the Tribunal emphasises that the PBI definition depends on the common or ordinary understanding of the expression at the relevant time, not a mechanical application of what judges may have decided nearly 80 years ago. Read more