The fundraising market and opportunity for sport


Many people perceive sport as being incredibly well funded in Australia, however the professional and public nature of the minority provides an uneven bias to this opinion. The reality is that it is increasingly difficult for Australians to participate in sport, particularly at the grassroots level due to:

  • Financial pressures on families and communities
  • Lack of adequately maintained facilities
  • Increased cost of participation due to natural economic increases.

This point is supported by the fact that 1 in 4 Australians are overweight or obese, and that Australian kids are now among the least active in the world.

Sport is synonymous with Australia, and internationally Australia has the image of a healthy, active and competitive nation in the sporting arena. But sport is about more than just competition; sport plays a far larger role in the development of society and individuals than we naturally associate it with when we are discussing and thinking about sport.

The most recently available figures indicate that 35% of Australian’s made a tax deductible donation to an eligible cause, contributing $2.24 billion through personal donations and a further $300 million was distributed through trusts and foundations.

Of that $2.5 billion, only around $20 million was distributed to sport, that is less than 1%. If you compare that figure with a similarly cultural purpose in the arts, who received $150 million in private donations and a further $32 million from trusts or foundations over the same period in tax deductible philanthropic donations, the need for further funding in sport starts to take shape.


There are five core reasons people should donate to sport:


Sport contributes to community building, in regional areas the local sporting facility is a vital meeting place and contributes to the cultural identity of towns and regions all over Australia.

Sport makes up part of the fabric of Australian life. ABS statistics show that 90% of Australians have a “strong interest” in sport, 82% of Australians aged over 15 years of age participated in sport last year and 50% of Australians attended a sporting event.


Sport encourages a healthy and active lifestyle and the barriers to participation in sport, particularly at the grassroots level, have had a direct impact on the health of future Australian generations. Australian kids are now amongst the least active in the world.

It is proven that sport has a positive impact on health. Sport is a strong vehicle for the improvement of a multitude of health causes such as: Heart disease, diabetes, mental health, stress + anxiety and obesity.

  • 1 in 4 Australians are now classed as being overweight or obese
  • 81% of Australian children do not meet the recommended levels of physical activity


“Everything I know about morality and the obligations of men, I owe to football”- Albert Camus, Philosopher

Sport strengthens communities. Sport reunites and brings communities together and provides essential “life-skills” such as:

  • Leadership and teamwork
  • The value of hard work and training
  • Empathy and gratitude
  • Commitment

Sport also has been shown to positively impact almost all other social/charitable causes, such as:

  • Education
  • Social and Public Welfare
  • Religion
  • Human Rights
  • Indigenous
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Culture


Sport strengthens communities in more ways than culturally and through social gains. Sport has been proven to have economic benefits to communities.

Studies have shown the economic benefit of sport to be high:

  • A report by the AFL and The Centre for Sport and Social Impact into the Value of a Community Football Club found that “For every $1 spend on a community football club, there is a return of $4.40 in social value to the community”
  • A recent report by Football NSW into the Social Impact of Football in the State demonstrates that “Grassroots football (soccer), generates a direct economic impact of $420million in NSW, and is estimated at c$1billion nationally”


Every sporting organisation in Australia has a group of dedicated and emotionally engaged participants, fans and/or members. These people come in the form of current and past players, officials, coaches, administrators, employees, family members, members of the local community and other impacted community groups. For all of these people, sport plays an essential role in their lives and creates an opportunity for them to belong to something and to passionately and emotionally contribute and give back to their communities.


We were established 30 years ago to receive tax deductible donations for the development of sport, with donors able to nominate their preferred sporting cause and see their monies have a direct impact on the growth and success of that project. To this point, sport has not yet taken full advantage of this opportunity to raise a unique and valuable pool of funds through fundraising. Recent changes to the ASF have made it much easier to deal with and to get on with the job of raising money. These changes include:

  • Online application process
  • Online fundraising pages specifically tailored to your sport
  • Online donation capability, issuing donors with an automatic donation receipt – with the ability for sports to insert this donation form directly on their websites or within emails/e-newsletters through a unique URL
  • New and regular fundraising resources – sharing how to fundraise and case studies on what else is working around Australia
  • Dedicated sports partnership managers, assigned specifically to your region to help with successful fundraising structure

To see our CEO presenting the case of sport as a philanthropic purpose and why sport should be raising money through fundraising see his presentation at the recent Business of Sport Summit.

You can view more videos from Mark on our YouTube channel.

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