Bank of Queensland is the first listed company in Australia to give shareholders the opportunity to donate all or part of their dividend directly to a charity through an innovative new program.
Managing Director David Liddy said the Bank was delighted to be the first listed company in Australia to take on the Investing in Hope fundraising program, particularly with such a worthy charity.
Investing in Hope is an extremely worthwhile cause, Mr Liddy said.
By giving our shareholders the opportunity to direct all or part of their cash dividends to this charity, we are giving them the opportunity to directly help cure and care for sick children, he said.
I think this is a great new fundraising initiative, and allows shareholders to directly contribute to charity, while also providing another, and new, opportunity for listed corporations to help worthwhile causes.
This type of donation, while the first of its type, could well become a model for millions of dollars in future donations, Mr Liddy said.
Of course, involvement in this donation is entirely up to the individual shareholder.
The shareholders donation will be tax deductible and they will receive a dividend imputation credit to offset tax on other income, depending on personal circumstances.
Its the small dividends that are rarely cashed that can make such a huge impact on the lives of Australian children, said Karen Murphy, spokesperson for the National Children's Medical Research Fund and CEO of the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation Brisbane.
For example, a large Australian company recently reported they had over $50 million of dividend cheques uncashed since 1998. Imagine the difference this could make in helping our sick and injured children get better sooner.
Bank of Queensland has developed a strong relationship with the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation in Queensland, donating $57,000 from last years inaugural Corporate Charity Event and also contributing through the hospitals Christmas appeal.
The Investing in Hope campaign beneficiary will be the National Children's Medical Research Fund (NCMRF). The NCMRF includes five of the country's major children's hospital foundations in the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation in Queensland, the Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation, the Women and Children's Hospital Foundation in South Australia, Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation in Western Australia and the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation in Victoria.