Charities getting million of dollars in tax breaks need to be more open about what they do with our money, says a former insider.
It is tempting to describe Dr Michael Gousmett as that rare beast – a poacher-turned-gamekeeper. But in the game of shadows that is the charities sector even that description begs clarification.
Gousmett has been involved with charities for a quarter of a century since first working for the Pacific Leprosy Foundation. That got him interested in the history of charity, the value to society of volunteerism and altruism; what The Economist termed “the glue of society”. And that curiosity led to university, a Phd (on tax and charity) and to become something of a de facto inspector-general of charities.
He is dogged in his research and resolute in his call for stronger regulation to provide a leap in accountability for a sector that is worth $14.7 billion and benefits from tax exemptions of up to $400 million plus $200 million in rebates on donations.
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