A real bargain
For those of you who like end-of-financial year bargains, here’s one that’s hard to beat. The Australian government has a scheme under which it matches donations to certain aid projects on a $3 for $1 basis.So if you give $500, the matching funds can bring the grant up to $2000 which is enough to buy books for an entire school in a poor country. In addition, the donations themselves are tax deductible, so if you’re one of those groaning under our top marginal tax rate, the effective cost is only $250.
I got the info on this from PLAN, but a lot of other organisations have access to the same scheme. In addition to PLAN, I’ve always found Oxfam/CAA to be pretty impressive, but there is a wide range of worthwhile options.
I found this info on the Ausaid website. In particular, if all the funds allocated to this program aren’t spent by June 30, they’ll go back to consolidated revenue. So if, like me, you think that aid to the world’s poor ought to have a higher priority in the budget, you can get a lot of effective leverage from this program. I assume the program will continue next year, and I don’t know what would happen if an increase in donations used up the budget allocation early in the year, but it couldn’t hurt to try. Maybe the government would be shamed into allocating more money.
fn1. There’s an “up to” in there, which always rings alarm bells when you’re looking at bargains, but it does appear that the full 3:1 amount is available in most cases.