skip to log on skip to main content
VoiceOver users please use the tab key when navigating expanded menus
Article related to:


A guide to giving: philanthropy in 2023

ANZ Private

2023-03-10 05:30

Australians donate billions1 to charity each year, supporting causes close to their hearts. We explore the causes, trends and opportunities that are expected to shape giving in 2023 and discuss what this means for Australian philanthropists. 

As Australia’s wealth grows, our desire to help one another seems to be growing too, according to ANZ Private’s Director of Financial Advice, David Lipari.

“That desire to help has always been there, but people are now more likely to put their money where their desire has been,” he says.

“I’ve had a lot of conversations over time with people who like the idea of doing something but haven’t quite been ready – lately, it feels like more people are becoming ready.”

Trending causes and opportunities to drive greater impact

Five major themes are expected to dominate philanthropic giving in 2023 and beyond, according to research by Philanthropy Australia (PA)1

  1. solving the affordable housing shortfall,
  2. integrating climate awareness into giving strategies,
  3. reducing the stress experienced by groups vulnerable to economic downturn,
  4. issues affecting First Nations peoples, and
  5. addressing the underlying causes of economic inequality and poverty.

PA’s research also found that while Australians are generally optimistic about the state of giving, there are several opportunities to drive better outcomes for the community.

Specifically, there’s an apparent desire to shift the power imbalance between philanthropists and recipients to create a truer sense of partnership. Philanthropists also revealed a desire to collaborate with and learn from other philanthropists, and to transition from transactional to longer term relationships. 

Other changes philanthropists wish to see include a push to get the voices of beneficiaries into board and leadership structures and a growing interest in impact measurement. The research also shows a desire to make it easier for not-for-profits to meet deductible gift recipient (DGR1) restrictions.

Many philanthropists also plan to be more targeted with their donations, offering fewer grants, but with higher average values and focusing their money on specific causes. 

What’s changing in 2023?

The rules and expectations governing philanthropy and not-for-profit organisations are set to undergo several changes this year. One of the most well-documented changes is the introduction of new tax rules for not-for-profits.

From 1 July 2023, any non-charitable not-for-profit organisation with an Australian business number (ABN) must lodge an annual self-review to maintain its income tax exemption. This rule was introduced in the 2021-22 Federal Budget in a bid to “enhance trust and confidence in the sector”.

Sports clubs, community service groups, and health, education, or scientific research not-for-profits all fall under the ‘non-charitable’ banner.  

According to the ATO, this change will ensure only not-for-profits that are eligible for the tax exemption will be able to access it. Organisations that fail to lodge the self-review with their return will not only be at risk of losing tax exemptions but could also face tax penalties. 

Currently, there are no disclosure obligations regarding these organisations’ tax status, so philanthropists will need to conduct their own due diligence to get this information. 

Elsewhere, the Federal Government has signalled further changes could be in the pipeline. Last year, Charities Minister Dr Andrew Leigh pledged to double Australia’s philanthropic giving by 2030.2

More recently, Dr Leigh says the government is considering streamlining the process that charitable organisations use to register themselves with the ATO. Under the current rules, certain charities are required to make their case to the responsible minister before receiving deductible gift recipient status while others simply need to file paperwork with the tax office.

The proposed changes would allow more charities to apply directly to the ATO. However, some charities – such as those administering foreign aid – will still need to undergo ministerial reviews to ensure compliance with anti-money laundering legislation.3

Shifting attitudes towards giving

Lipari says the impetus to donate to important causes has been consistent among ANZ Private’s clients, but he noted it’s often the second or third generation that makes the biggest investment. 

In most cases, he says, this reflects an eagerness to uphold the values of their forebears.

“I think the inclination to help others is stronger, potentially, within that group because they feel an obligation to continue the legacy that's been created, and also to give back to others,” he says.

The causes ANZ Private’s clients choose to support varies, Lipari says, but typically philanthropic families will have a personal connection to the cause they’re supporting.

“People don't want to give money into a sort of charity ‘black box’ - they want their money to go to solve problems they're familiar with,” he says.

“That is also part of what we at ANZ Private try to do – help people get their money into giving structures that allow them to be more thoughtful with their grants, so money gets to the groups that they're most interested in helping”.

Lipari added that the growing interest in impact investing – investments creating beneficial social change as well as generating returns – also bodes well for the future of Australian philanthropy.

Research by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) found assets under management allocated to impact investing hit $30 billion in 2021 – a modest increase from the $29 billion total funds under management record in 2020.4

This trend suggests Australians are becoming more interested in how their money is being used and want to see their capital driving positive outcomes for their communities. 

How can I get involved?

Australians hoping to become more active in philanthropy can do so using several different vehicles and financial structures. The two most commonly used are private ancillary funds and public foundation sub funds.

A private ancillary fund is described by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) as a special fund linking “people who want to give … and organisations that can receive tax deductible donations as deductible gift recipients”.

This gives philanthropists greater control and flexibility over how the money they donate is used.

Public foundation sub funds, on the other hand, feed into another master fund supporting the chosen organisation – making them easier to operate but giving donors less control.

Lipari cautioned would-be philanthropists to plan their donations carefully. That’s because once money is placed into one of these structures it needs to be used for the specified charitable purpose.

Importantly, each of these structures come with certain obligations that donors, as directors of the funds, will need to comply with.

Lipari said that ANZ Private specialises in managing these obligations and can help clients   establish the fund structure that’s right for them. 

A guide to giving: philanthropy in 2023
Banking specialist
ANZ Private

Discover how ANZ Private can help

At ANZ Private we offer specialised banking and advice and work with high net worth clients to protect, grow and transition their wealth.

Related articles

ANZ Private Bankers are representatives of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited ABN 11 005 357 522 (ANZ), the holder of an Australian Financial Services Licence.

This document ("document") is distributed to you by ANZ and may not be reproduced, distributed or published by any recipient for any purpose.

The articles and information provided within is general in nature only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Please consider its appropriateness to you before making any investment decisions. It should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional advice. ANZ recommends that you read any relevant offer document or product disclosure statement, and consider if the product is appropriate for you. Articles are current as at the date of their publication but are subject to change. Articles represent the views and opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of ANZ, its employees or directors. Whilst care has been taken in preparing these documents, ANZ and its related entities do not warrant or represent that the document is accurate or complete. To the extent permitted by law, ANZ and its related entities do not accept any responsibility or liability from the use of the information. Past performance is not indicative of future performance and any case study shown is for illustrative purposes only. Neither are a prediction of the actual outcome which will be achieved. Some of this information may have tax implications. ANZ recommends that you seek specialist tax advice on how it may impact your tax obligations, liabilities or entitlements.

  1. Philanthropy Australia, ‘Better Philanthropy Telescope Report 2022’, December 2022, accessed 6 February 2023
  2. A Leigh, ‘Labor to Double philanthropic giving by 2030 – media release’, 7 April 2022, accessed 10 February 2023
  3. A Leigh, ‘2CC with Leon Delaney – Transcript’, 25 January 2023, accessed 10 February 2023
  4. RIAA, ‘Responsible Investment Benchmark Report Australia 2022’, September 2022, accessed 10 February 2023