NFP Gifting Criteria and Approval Process
This document should be seen as a set of guidelines rather than a
definitive, quasi-legal document.
We aim to support a broader range of organisations and activities than
the government or Australian Tax Office.
In most cases, approval for Gift Recipient Statis (GRS) applications
will be determined by the board of directors based on our criteria guidelines.
In cases which are questionable or potentially controversial, the board will
put it to the Coop membership to debate and vote on. This is a process. The
Cooperative may in the future have a GRS selection committee which will be
independent of the board.
The founding members of the Cooperative agreed that spiritual and
religious organisations complying with a not-for-profit criteria and qualifies
for support, and that as a community we have no right to dismiss offhand any
spiritual beliefs. It is an associated aspect of a community that promotes
inclusiveness and participation of members that we also endorse tolerance and
difference of opinions that are not inherently anti-social.
Education is seen as a part of the spiritual life of society.
Not-for-profit educational institutions are thus seen generally as eligible for
The Cooperative has as its mission and goals an economy which is
environmentally sustainable and socially just. This must be in the background
of the GRS qualification. In so doing we will be, or should be, trying to vet
the ‘opinions’ that stem from corporate propaganda through think tank funding,
media blitzes, advertising and so on. We try to be responsive to the needs and
concerns of individuals and not those of for-profit corporations.
What is a ‘not-for profit’?
For the purposes of this guideline a ‘not-for profit’ (NFP) is an
organisation that does not exist to create an income for its members or owners.
To this end, any person drawing a remuneration from that organisation must do
so in the form of wages, salaries, or contract hire.
There is a further condition for being a NFP and that is that members
have a direct say in running the organisation either in the form of policy
making or indirectly through the voting for a board or management committee.
Not all NFPs will qualify for GRS but all GRS applicants must be NFPs.
Reliance on whistle blowers
We cannot oversee the ethics and propriety of all our GRS organisations.
To this end the Cooperative welcomes whistle blowers to let us know of
malpractices within any GRS organisation such as systemic abuse of the elderly
or the young, fiscal impropriety and so on. Genuine whistle blowers will be
supported by the Cooperative with as much financial and other means as
Organisations/activities that almost automatically qualify.
The following is a sample list of the wide range of not-for-profit
organisations that the Cooperative should have no difficulty in approving for
GRS. The directors may choose to deny an applicant for specific reasons.
Schools and educational institutions. This includes private and public
Soup kitchens, shelter for the homeless, women’s refuge
Churches and places of worship
Community gardens and gardening groups
Music and arts festivals
Environmental regeneration and awareness promotion
Community energy or resource sharing groups; recycling projects
Affordable housing groups
Health awareness promotion.
Financial reporting/auditing requirements
Extra conditions and exclusions
GRS organisations must declare any sources of corporate funding. This
condition is to ensure that the Cooperative is not funding an organisation
which is a front for corporate lobbying. The board of directors reserve the
right to ask for such information as a condition of funding.
Funding will be denied any religious organisation which is a ‘cult’ – a
cult being an organisation which will not easily let its members leave without
a form of social ostracising such as barring contacts with family members.
Funding will be denied any organisations that have a policy of inciting
racial and political violence either by funding or speech/literature/video/social
Some community organisations and activities may fall outside our GSR
criteria guidelines for a number of reasons – they are too small or informal to
have a legal structure; the project may be a one-off; they are too newly formed
to become formally organised; etcetera. In such cases, the directors may choose
to exercise a right to use its discretion to fund such organisations. Such
discretionary funding may not be more than 5% of the total tax revenue.
Where an application is controversial
There will be many instances where an applicant will be highly
controversial or debatable as to whether it deserves community funding. Say for
instance the coalition to stop the Adani Coalmine project in Queensland. For a
lot of people this will be a no-brainer if we truly live up to our aspiration
to create an environmentally sustainable economy; for others it presents a loss
of jobs and opportunities etcetera. If the directors were to make a call on
this, members and potential members may develop a strong antipathy towards the
directors and perhaps also to the Cooperative as a whole. However, if we let
the community decide, no-one can dispute that the selection process is fair,
participatory and inclusive.
In such instances, the board will put it to the members for a vote and
the outcome will be determined in a similar process to our ‘direct democracy’
voting. In other words, if more than two-thirds of the members that vote are in
favour of an applicant, that applicant is approved for GRS.
It also goes that members may put up a petition to disbar an
organisation from GRS and overturn a directors’ approved decision.