ACNC's role

Who we are

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is the independent national regulator of charities. The ACNC has been set up to achieve the following objects:

  • maintain, protect and enhance public trust and confidence in the sector through increased accountability and transparency
  • support and sustain a robust, vibrant, independent and innovative not-for-profit sector
  • promote the reduction of unnecessary regulatory obligations on the sector.

What we do

To achieve our objects, the ACNC:

  • registers organisations as charities
  • helps charities understand and meet their obligations through information, guidance, advice and other support
  • helps the public understand the work of the not-for profit sector through information, guidance, advice and other support
  • maintains a free and searchable public register so that anyone can look up information about registered charities
  • is working with state and territory governments (as well as individual federal, state and territory government agencies) to develop a 'report-once, use-often' reporting framework for charities.

For more information listen to our podcast episode on the role of the ACNC.

The ACNC is established under section 105-5 of the ACNC Act. The objects and functions described above are set out in sections 15-5, 30-5, 40-5, 105-15 and 110-10 of that Act

Our leaders

ACNC is led by Commissioner Susan Pascoe AM, Assistant Commissioners David Locke and Murray Baird, and a strong leadership team. The ACNC Commissioner's position is established by section 110-5 of the ACNC Act. The Commissioner was appointed on 3 December 2012 for a term of 5 years. Find out more about our leaders.

Our relationship with other government agencies

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) remains responsible for deciding eligibility for charity tax concessions and other Commonwealth exemptions and benefits.

There are also many other government agencies that regulate charities and other not-for-profits. For example, government agencies may provide grants and other funding. They may also regulate particular services provided by charities, such as aged care or education. Find out about the ACNC's relationship with some key Commonwealth regulators.