The Australian Sports Foundation, the only body in Australia that can provide tax-deductions for donations of $2 or more to sports projects, has received almost $165 million in donations over the past four years, posting $43.5 million in revenue from donations and grants in 2018-19 alone.
The financial year result was the third consecutive year the Sports Foundation has received over $43 million.
Australian Football reclaimed the position of the top fundraising sport, rising 38% from $12.27 million in 2017-18 to $16.98 million in 2018-19, with Tennis rounding out the top ten.
Sports Foundation Chief Executive, Patrick Walker, said the financial year result continues to recognise the high regard Australians place in sport and the important role sport plays within communities.
“The 2018-19 financial year was another strong result for philanthropic funding for sport at all levels throughout Australia.
“Sport has the unique ability to bring together people from different backgrounds and cultures and provides a positive movement for social change and social inclusion, particularly in multi-racial communities where participation and involvement can provide a unified bond,” he added.
Mr Walker said there were several fundraising highlights in 2018-19.
“We saw a 41% increase in the number of donations received – up from 17,592 donations last year, to a record 24,937.
“This means more clubs received more philanthropic support from more members and supporters.
“Additionally, the number of fundraising partners grew by almost 20%, taking total numbers fundraising with us to over 2,600.
“Representative athletes raised more than $2.4 million in FY19 to support their training, coaching and competition costs – more than double the previous year,” he said.
Most national and international standard athletes do not receive grants, subsidies or scholarships and with Tokyo 2020 fast approaching, many will be reliant on tax-deductible fundraising via the Sports Foundation to help them compete against better-funded international competitors.
The biggest improver was basketball which saw fundraising soar 807% from $215,512 in 2017-18 to $1.95 million raised last financial year.
“Basketball’s result was quite stunning, the sport has some ambitious plans for the new financial year and further improvement is anticipated,” Mr Walker said.
The top 10 fundraising sports in 2018-19 were:
The Sports Foundation was established by the Federal Government in 1986 to incentivise community, corporate and philanthropic investment in sport.
It has also established a Charitable Fund, enabling it to receive financial support from Private and Public Ancillary Funds and Charitable Foundations.