Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is the Australian Cultural Fund (ACF)?

The ACF is a fundraising platform for Australian artists and arts organisations. It was established in 2003 to encourage donations to the arts and is administered by Creative Partnerships Australia, a not-for-profit supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Communications and the Arts.

 

How does the ACF benefit artists?

The ACF is great for artists because Creative Partnerships Australia has a unique Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status. This means that supporters make their donation to Creative Partnerships Australia but can preference a particular artist to be the beneficiary of their gift.  Donations to Creative Partnerships Australia over $2 are tax deductible. This is great incentive for people to donate to projects!

The ACF also offers artists an opportunity to build networks and access Creative Australia’s pool of resources, tools, advice and expertise.

 

How does the ACF benefit donors?

Donors can preference a particular artist to benefit from their gift when they donate to Creative Partnerships Australia, and will receive a tax deduction for donations of $2 of more.

By funding an ACF project, donors connect with artists whose work they believe in and inspire others to do the same.

 

How does the ACF work?

It’s really simple!

The artist registers their project with the ACF.

The artist sets a fundraising target and timeline for their fundraising campaign.

The artist sets up their project page and gets to work on their fundraising campaign to generate donations.

Donors give to Creative Partnerships Australia, nominating a preference for which artist they would like to benefit from their gift.

Provided all terms and conditions have been met, and subject to the approval of the Creative Partnerships Australia Board, Creative Partnerships Australia awards grants to projects after the fundraising campaign has ended.

Donors receive a tax receipt from Creative Partnerships Australia for donations of $2 or more.

Artists receive funds in the form of a grant to create their work.

 

Who can register to use the ACF?

To be eligible to register a project with the ACF you must:

  • be a practising artist or group of artists or a not-for-profit arts or cultural organisation;
  • be engaged in arts and cultural activities;
  • plan to use the gift for the designated purposes; and
  • plan to use the gift within Australia or for the benefit of Australia.

Organisations must be a legally constituted not-for-profit body.

Creative Partnerships Australia is unable to accept registrations for projects from commercial entities or for projects relating to retrospective expenditure.

 

For Artists

What happens to my donation if a project doesn't reach its target?

Provided all terms and conditions have been met, and subject to the approval of the Creative Partnerships Australia Board, donations that have been received in preference to an artist will be taken into account when grants are made, whether the fundraising target has been reached or not.

 

How much does it cost to list a project on the ACF?

It is free to register a project with the ACF.

 

How long does it take for my application to be approved?

Once all required information has been provided, eligible projects are generally approved within 3 business days.

 

Will Creative Partnerships Australia find donors for my work?

No. Creative Partnerships Australia does not broker donors for registered projects. We will promote your project on our website and provide information and online resources to assist you in developing and implementing your fundraising strategy to build relationships and secure donations.



Can Creative Partnerships Australia auspice my project?

No. Creative Partnerships Australia is not an auspicing body and does not auspice projects.

Creative Partnerships Australia has a unique Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status which means that donors make their donation to us, but can preference a particular ACF registered artist to be the beneficiary of their gift. Donors will receive a tax deduction for donations of $2 or more.

How do I get the money once a supporter donates? How long does it take?

All donations preferenced to a project must be approved by Creative Partnerships Australia. Artists will receive grants, subject to Creative Partnerships’ approval, when their fundraising campaign closes.

As an ACF artist, you’re also required to complete an acquittal form at the end of your project. This is a really simple process that takes a few minutes to complete. You can access it here. For more information on the steps you need to take at the conclusion of your campaign, we’ve put together a handy guide.

 

Who can support the ACF?

 

We encourage everyone to be an ACF donor!

However, your relatives cannot receive a tax deduction for donations made in preference to you or your project. In this instance, a relative means a spouse, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, lineal descendant or adopted child of you or your spouse.

This is because, under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936, a deduction is not allowed if any material benefit is obtained by the donor or their associate as a result of the donation.

For example, if your Mum were to make a donation to your project, your Mum’s associate (that’s you – under the Tax Assessment Act) will receive a material benefit (in the form of grant money) from the donation.

You cannot receive a tax deduction for donations to your own project for the same reason outlined above.

While we are unable to give tax advice to you or your donors, we are happy to outline this issue broadly, so feel free to get in touch if you need more information or read our FAQs.

Can project participants donate to the project?

Participants, their relatives and associates, can donate to a project, but they can’t receive anything in return (other than tax deductibility). Donors who gift to a project they are participating in cannot receive any material benefit, advantage, right or guarantee in return for their gift, nor can their relatives or associates.

Registrants ( i.e: the legal entity responsible for the ACF project) cannot gift to their own project.

 

How is the ACF platform different to crowdfunding platforms?

There are five key differences:

  1. The ACF is a fundraising platform dedicated solely to Australian artists.
  2. ACF artists are not permitted to offer rewards in exchange for donations. Donations to Creative Partnerships Australia are an unconditional gift.
  3. ACF  artists receive grants at the end of their fundraising campaign, regardless of whether they have reached their fundraising target.
  4. The ACF is a preferred donation arrangement that offers tax deductibility to the donor.
  5. Registering with the ACF gives you access to campaign analytics and donor data in real time, plus Creative Partnerships Australia’s pool of resources, tools, advice and expertise – we’re here to help your ACF fundraising campaign succeed.

 

Can I give or receive any form of (tangible or material) benefit in exchange for an ACF donation?

No. Creative Partnerships Australia cannot receive donations through the ACF (nor provide a deduction) where the donor or an associate obtains, or would be expected to obtain, any benefit other than the benefit of a tax deduction.

A gift is defined as arising from ‘benefaction’. A donor cannot receive any tangible benefit in return for their gift, or expect or oblige the artist to give them a benefit.  An ACF artist cannot offer a benefit as an incentive to donate.

Acknowledgement on your website, newsletter or donors’ board is not regarded by the ATO as a tangible or material benefit. However, enlarging the acknowledgment into forms of advertising would prevent the payment being a gift.

More information is available on the ATO website.

 

Can I give or receive any rewards in exchange for a donation?

No. Rewards, such as those offered on crowdfunding sites, are considered a tangible or material benefit and would prevent the payment being a gift.

 

Can I offer benefits (like free tickets or copies of my work) to my donors?

No. Tickets and artworks are considered a tangible or material benefit and would prevent the payment being a gift.

 

Can a donor give to my project more than once?

Yes. We encourage you to foster and build good relationships with donors, which may lead to repeat support.

 

What’s my responsibility as a registered ACF project?

Registered projects must use the grants they receive from Creative Partnerships Australia to contribute to costs associated with the project registered and approved by Creative Partnerships Australia. The registered artist, group or arts organisation must notify Creative Partnerships Australia if there is a change in the scope or timeline of their project.

It is a requirement of the ACF that an acquittal report be completed at the conclusion of projects. You will receive a link to the acquittal form in an email from us, but you can also access it here. You do not need to complete the acquittal form until the completion of your project.

 

Is there a limit to the number of times I can use the ACF?

No. However a previous project must be acquitted before an artist, group or arts organisation can register to use the ACF again.

 

Can I register multiple projects?

Yes, although you should be mindful that you don’t dilute your campaign by having multiple projects for which you are seeking support.

 

Is there a course I can take to learn how to build potential donors?

From time to time, Creative Partnerships Australia runs workshops on working with donors and running fundraising campaigns specifically for arts projects. To hear about these events when they occur, sign up for ACF eNews on the website.

We also publish resources and a blog that will help you to plan and implement a successful campaign.

 

For Donors

How do I donate to an ACF project?

Donors are able to preference their donation to a specific ACF project through that project’s profile page on the ACF website.

You can donate funds to Creative Partnerships Australia via credit card. If requested, Creative Partnerships Australia can also provide bank details for EFT (electronic funds transfer) donations. Please note Creative Partnerships Australia does not accept cash donations and can only accept monetary gifts.

Here’s a step by step guide:

  • Click the “Donate” button on the Artist’s project page to whom you would like to preference your donation
  • Add your details, and the amount you wish to donate
  • Read the Donor Terms and Conditions and select if you would like to stay in contact
  • Select you payment method
  • Enter your Billing Information
  • Your donation will be confirmed by email and a tax receipt provided.

 

What if I am a relative or associate of the artist?

 

You cannot receive a tax deduction for donations made in preference to someone you are related to. That means a spouse, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, lineal descendant or adopted child of you or your spouse.

This is because, under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936, a deduction is not allowed if any material benefit is obtained by the donor or their associate as a result of the donation.

For example, if you were to make a donation to your spouse’s project, your spouse (who is your associate under the Tax Assessment Act) will receive a material benefit (in the form of grant money) from the donation.

You cannot claim a tax deduction for donations to your own project for the same reason outlined above.

While we are unable to give tax advice, we are happy to outline this issue broadly, so feel free to get in touch if you need more information or read our FAQs.

 

Are my donations secure?

Yes. All transactions are processed securely through eWAY, which secures payment card data during transmission and storage to ensure customers are protected at all times.

 

Why does the donation form stipulate that there is ‘no guarantee’ a donation will be granted to a preferred project?

Donations through the ACF are actually gifts to Creative Partnerships Australia. It is Creative Partnerships Australia that holds the Deductible Gift Recipient status to be able to receive and issue tax deductible receipts for contributions – not the registered project.

It’s important for both donors and artists to understand that for a donation to Creative Partnerships Australia to be tax deductible, in other words for it to be considered an unconditional gift, no guarantee can be given as to how the donation will be spent.

Donors are required to agree to this in the Donor Terms and Conditions when they make a donation.

 

Are there any fees charged on donations to the ACF?

Processing donations incurs fees, which vary by payment type. A breakdown of these fees (as at October 2015) is below:

ACF fee table

When you donate to Creative Partnerships Australia in preference to a project, you can opt to increase your donation to us by 5%, enabling us to cover the costs of processing your donation. If you do not select this option, we will retain 5% from any grant to your preferred project.  The remaining 95% is used to make grants to artists.


What happens if Creative Partnerships Australia does not grant a donor’s preference?

Should for any reason Creative Partnerships Australia not grant according to a donor preference, we will contact the artist and donor to discuss next steps.

 

What if I have decided that my donation has been given to the wrong project?

Contact Creative Partnerships Australia immediately. Donations to the ACF represent irrevocable gifts subject to the legal and fiduciary control of the Creative Partnerships Australia Board.

 

Can businesses give through the ACF?

Yes, if there are no benefits exchanged.

 

Can businesses match funding through the ACF?

Yes. Businesses are encouraged to promote projects through their networks and to offer matched funding to ACF projects.

 

Can philanthropic trusts, foundations and Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs) give through the ACF?

Creative Partnerships Australia has both Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status and Tax Concession Charity (TCC) status so trusts, foundations and Private Ancillary Funds that require DGR and / or TCC status can give through the ACF.

Many philanthropic bodies prefer not to give via indirect funding arrangements, so it’s important that ACF artists carefully read their guidelines and criteria before approaching such bodies for funding.

 

What monitoring role does Creative Partnerships Australia provide for donors?

Creative Partnerships Australia is a government owned company limited by guarantee. We are required to comply with ASIC and ATO regulations with respect to our not-for-profit status.

We actively screen and track the projects listed on the ACF website.

From the initial registration process, Creative Partnerships Australia staff provide an oversight role. Only artists, groups and arts and cultural organisations are eligible to register projects for support. This ensures we meet the requirements for tax deductibility and also ensures donors that funds donated will be used for the purpose intended.

Creative Partnerships Australia reviews registered projects to ensure veracity and viability before listing on the ACF website. Before Creative Partnerships Australia grants funds for a project, we confirm with the artist their readiness and capacity to undertake the project as proposed.

During the course of the project, Creative Partnerships Australia stays in touch with artists to monitor progress. Those registered are also encouraged to provide periodic progress updates to their donors.

Finally, all those registered must submit a final report (acquittal) with detailed information about how their funds were used and the status of the project. These reports are monitored and reviewed to ensure the agreement is appropriately fulfilled.