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Analysis and Comment (17)

Clare Balding and Frankie Dettori take the challenge. Clare Balding and Frankie Dettori take the challenge. Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ice bucket good, neknomination bad? It’s all just self-promotion

Now that every celebrity under the sun and every Facebook user has posted a video of themselves getting wet, it appears we have reached peak ice bucket. A trend that started as a drive to raise awareness…
In China, former basketball star Yao Ming takes the Ice Bucket Challenge at his NBA Yao School in Beijing. In China, former basketball star Yao Ming takes the Ice Bucket Challenge at his NBA Yao School in Beijing. EPA/NBA Yao School

Critics pour cold water on the Ice Bucket Challenge: are they right?

The Ice Bucket Challenge has been called “one of the most viral philanthropic social media campaigns in history”. The campaign has raised the profile of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). But some…
The community services sector has felt the pressure of underfunding for years. The community services sector has felt the pressure of underfunding for years. AAP/Joe Castro

Hard times getting harder for cash-starved community services

The federal government’s austerity budget is expected to hit disadvantaged people the hardest, including the unemployed, single parents and people with a disability. In times of increasing social need…
Cardinal George Pell reportedly led Catholic Church lobbying of the government to abolish the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission. Cardinal George Pell reportedly led Catholic Church lobbying of the government to abolish the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission. AAP/Dean Lewins

Charitable treatment by regulator belies church complaints

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) was created by the former federal Labor government and began operation in December 2012. It is so new that some charities are yet to be required…
We can’t always see no evil. We can’t always see no evil. Alicakes

Charity campaigns may cause outrage, but shock sells

A campaign for Pancreatic Cancer Action recently stirred up controversy over advertising “shock tactics”. In the advert, genuine sufferers of the disease stated to camera that “I wish I had testicular…
Blanket Burmese School. Blanket Burmese School.

Shopping for change this Christmas

Four-year-old Ar Zin stared at my bag. He knew there was something special inside. The classroom full of 30 Burmese refugee children was so hushed that I could each child’s breath, and Ar Zin’s eyes followed…
Breast cancer pink has become the signifier of a new feminism more concerned with awareness than protest. Breast cancer pink has become the signifier of a new feminism more concerned with awareness than protest. GaiaRae Veliz/Flickr

Girlie or girl power? Breast cancer and the cult(ure) of pink

Pinktober, when hundreds of products turn pink for breast cancer, is a curious month – more carnival than commemoration; more rose-coloured glasses than true blue conscious raising. Concerns have been…
Is the number of Australians in poverty increasing, or are the statistics being interpreted inaccurately? Is the number of Australians in poverty increasing, or are the statistics being interpreted inaccurately? Flickr\Vermin Inc

Shame or sham? Assessing poverty in Australia

Over two million Australians are currently living in poverty, according to a report released yesterday by Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS). Dr Cassandra Goldie of ACOSS says that it is a “national…
Beyond charity: philanthropists want a stake in giving. Beyond charity: philanthropists want a stake in giving. Broken Simulacra / flickr.com

Is ‘philanthrocapitalism’ the future of Australian charities?

The collapse of the child-care business ABC Learning in 2010 was an extraordinary chapter in Australian corporate history. Colourful Queensland businessman Eddy Groves, built the world’s largest publicly…
The schoolgirl dress is widely considered to be exciting. Even when it is not. The schoolgirl dress is widely considered to be exciting. Even when it is not. flickjr/Christie Jane

Schoolgirl innocence in Sierra Leone? Why selling fetish as fundraiser doesn’t fly

As a woman, as a woman who menstruates, as a woman who menstruates and has written a book about menstruation, I’m easily sold that charity One Girl’s efforts to buy pads for girls in Sierra Leone is admirable…
It’s possible for economists and charities to enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship. It’s possible for economists and charities to enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship. Kristopher Wilson

Giving advice for the greater good: why economists should work with charities

It is a well-established tradition in the legal and accounting worlds, where lawyers and accountants would provide pro bono legal and accounting services to the voluntary sector. It has also become common…
Commercial activities by charities which don’t directly fund their altruistic activities, are set to incur tax. Commercial activities by charities which don’t directly fund their altruistic activities, are set to incur tax. AAP

Let charities keep their income tax exemption

The not-for-profit sector is facing the loss of a privileged exemption that allows charities to avoid paying tax on profit-making activities. Announced in May’s Budget, the changes will see not-for-profit…
Japanese yakuza gangsters have made significant donations to tsunami relief efforts. Japanese yakuza gangsters have made significant donations to tsunami relief efforts. AAP

An offer you can’t refuse: the difficult distinction between gifts and bribes

Should we bother to ask whether some gifts and donations could be interpreted as thinly veiled bribes, or is the distinction always clear? A recent example of the potential ambiguity of gift-giving was…
Changes to the charity tax rules could impact on Gloria Jean’s among other organisations. Changes to the charity tax rules could impact on Gloria Jean’s among other organisations. Flickr/Edwin Tang ET

Charity tax changes to help lawyers and accountants, but no-one else

Tonight’s budget is expected to tighten a tax loophole for charities which run businesses unrelated to their charitable work. The government thinks it will increase revenue for Australia’s coffers. It…

Research Briefs (6)