Australians donated $44.7 million to sport via the Australian Sports Foundation for the second successive year, giving tax-deductions for donations of $2 or more to sports projects.
The 2017-18 fundraising total takes total donations to sport over the past four years to nearly $150m and following the establishment of its Charity last month, Australian Sports Foundation Chief Executive, Patrick Walker, anticipates the Sports Foundation will raise an additional $25million-$30 million a year in donations for charitable sporting projects by 2022.
“The Charity will allow sport, for the first time, to have the opportunity to benefit from distributions from Public and Private Ancillary Funds, which hold many billions of dollars for philanthropic purposes.
These funds must be used for charitable projects – for example those that increase activity and improve physical or mental health.
“Donations to the Charity will help those with a social disadvantage to benefit through sport, including multi-cultural, diversity and female-inclusion sport programs, and can also be used to enhance community sports facilities in regional and rural communities,” he said.
The previous financial year was highlighted by significant growth in athlete fundraising (up 142%), Rugby League (up 160%), Tennis (up 82%), Golf (up 65%), Sailing (up 56%) and Rugby Union (up 52%).
Mr Walker also said total athlete and club registrations rose by 61%, while the number of fundraising projects jumped by 36%.
“The $44.7m donated in 2017-18 again illustrates how important donors regard the health, community and social benefits of sports participation, and the Sports Foundation applauds the continued generosity of Australian’s” said Mr Walker.
“It was particularly pleasing to see major fundraising advancements in many of the high participation and popular sports such as Rugby League, Golf and Tennis, while athlete fundraising jumped past the $1 million fundraising mark for the first time.
“Significantly, grassroots and community sports clubs raised $21 million last financial year which represents 48% of all donations,” he said.
The top 10 fundraising sports in 2017-18 were:
|4. Rugby Union||$2,641,066|
|7. Rugby League||$1,129,648|
Mr Walker said more national and state representative athletes were registering fundraising projects to assist with the high costs of elite performance such as coaching, travel, accommodation and medical expenses.
“We recognised the need to assist top-level athletes just prior to the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games, and we now have more than 600 athlete fundraising projects.” said Mr Walker.
Multi-sports clubs, those organisations who operate more than one sport under their club banner, were the most successful fundraisers overtaking Australian Football for the first time.
“The fundraising growth in Rugby League is very pleasing. The game only raised around $18,000 just four years ago but generated $1.13 million via tax-deductible donations in 2017-18,” said Mr Walker.
Mr Walker urged more Football and Cricket clubs to embrace tax-deductible fundraising via the Sports Foundation to boost revenue.
“Football has 1.161 million participants but total fundraising in 2017-18 fell by 4% from $1.204m to $1.155m – or just under $1 per head*, while Cricket fundraising fell by 15% from $529,108 to $448,212 – or 82 cents per participant*,” he said.
The Sports Foundation is listed in the Income Tax Assessment Act as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) and is the only body in Australian that can provide tax-deductions for donations of $2 or more to sports projects.