This article appeared in the December 2011 edition of the Listed @ ASX newsletter.
Listed @ ASX spoke to Andrea Broom, executive officer, ShareGift Australia, about the benefits of its service for listed companies and retail investors. ASX along with other listed companies has supported ShareGift Australia since it began in 2007.
Listed @ ASX: What is ShareGift Australia?
Andrea Broom: ShareGift Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that provides shareholders with an easy and tax-deductible way to sell and donate small parcels of shares that would otherwise be difficult and expensive to trade. ShareGift Australia donates the cash proceeds to Australian charities with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status. This provides Australian shareholders with the opportunity to sell their shares and donate the proceeds to charity, without having to pay brokerage fees.
The ShareGift proposition differs from other programmes in that selling and donating through ShareGift Australia ensures that 100 per cent of the market value of the shares is used to benefit the Australian community. ShareGift is endorsed by the Australian Securities Exchange and the Australian Shareholders’ Association. ShareGift’s original funding partners were the Goldman Sachs Foundation and National Australia Bank. ShareGift was started by JBWere and National Australia Bank to create a sustainable and transparent infrastructure to facilitate giving to the community.
Listed @ ASX: What shares can be donated?
Andrea Broom: Shareholders can donate any shares held in Australian listed securities. They can donate any amount of shares to ShareGift Australia. Donations over $2 are tax-deductible.
Listed @ ASX: Which charities receive funding from ShareGift Australia?
Andrea Broom: Unlike other corporate donation programs, ShareGift enables shareholders to nominate a charity of their choice that may benefit from share sales. Charities must have DGR status to be eligible for ShareGift funding. ShareGift does not accept funding applications from individual charities. The board of ShareGift Australia has final discretion on distribution. Each quarter, the board distributes available funds, and in doing so takes into consideration the recommendations made by donors on the ShareGift donation form.
Listed @ ASX: How are recipient charities chosen?
Andrea Broom: Funding distributions to charities are made on the basis of recommendations from donors.
Listed @ ASX: What is the core proposal for a listed company?
Andrea Broom: The core proposal is that as part of a mail-out to shareholders a letter is included informing shareholders about the ShareGift service and inviting them to participate.
Listed @ ASX: What are the benefits for a listed company?
Andrea Broom: ShareGift presents an inexpensive and convenient way for shareholders to dispose of shares at no cost to themselves and to the benefit of Australian charities.
Listed @ ASX: What are the costs for a listed company?
Andrea Broom: The only cost to a listed company is printing. This becomes immaterial if the correspondence is part of an existing mail-out, which is how others participating have managed the initiative. It is suggested that a letter is printed with the donation form on the reverse, which keeps the insert to one page.
Listed @ ASX: With a mailing to shareholders, how are printing and postage costs minimised?
Andrea Broom: It is suggested that to minimise postage costs, a combined ShareGift donation form and letter be mailed with other correspondence, such as a dividend mail-out.
Listed @ ASX: Which listed companies are participating?
Andrea Broom: Examples include NAB, Amcor, Foster’s, Coca-Cola Amatil and ASX.
Listed @ ASX: Is there a minimum amount of shares that can be donated and therefore who is the target audience for a mailing?
Andrea Broom: The letter can be sent to all shareholders or targeted to those with small parcels of shares. If the latter, a cut-off point will need to be chosen that works best for the particular shareholder group.
Listed @ ASX: Where should completed donation forms be sent?
Andrea Broom: Donations forms can be returned to your own company secretary, your share registry or direct to ShareGift. A completed donation form constitutes an instruction to sell and, if returned to your company secretary or registry, should be passed on to ShareGift promptly.
ShareGift is responsible for putting the sell orders to market via one of our brokerage-free brokers, at this stage JBWere or Macquarie Equities. We will also convert any CHESS-sponsored holdings to issuer-sponsored holdings (an unavoidable time-consuming process as we have to write to the sponsoring broker).
Listed @ ASX: To date, what has been the benefit to the community sector in Australia?
Andrea Broom: ShareGift Australia has donated in excess of $222,000 to more than 135 Australian charities thanks to the generosity of shareholders.
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