Helping a charity: Donating and volunteering

If you are thinking about supporting a charity, you can find a registered charity by searching the ACNC Register. If a charity is registered with us, it has met the requirements under the ACNC Act.

The Register contains information that may help your decision, such as a charity's purposes, past and future activities, where it operates, and who it helps. In the future, it will also have more information such as a charity's financial report or other financial information.

Attention - Important information! Search the ACNC Register now.

Donating

You may donate:

  • money
  • goods – canned food, clothing, and furniture are commonly accepted.

You can contact a charity directly to find out what help it may need. Some charities will have guidelines around how to donate.

If you want to make a big donation, or leave money or gifts through your will, consider getting professional advice, such as from an accountant or lawyer, to make sure your donation or bequest gets to where it needs to.

How to make a tax deductible donation

Only organisations that have been endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as deductible gift recipients (DGRs) are able to accept tax deductible gifts and contributions. If you donate to a DGR then you may be able to claim a tax deduction for any donations you make of $2 or more.

You can use the ACNC Register to find out if a charity is a DGR. Find the charity’s information page on the Register and click on its Australian Business Number (ABN). This will take you to its information on the Australian Business Register (ABR), which lists any tax concessions it receives and if it has DGR status.

Not all organisations with DGR status are charities and those other DGRs are not listed on the ACNC Register.

Volunteering

Volunteers help in many ways (from preparing food, coaching a team, visiting elderly people, to being a board member). If you want to volunteer, make sure:

  • the charity's purpose and the way it works matches your values
  • the charity needs the skills and experiences you can offer
  • you are realistic about what you can contribute and understand what is expected before you commit.

If you are a volunteer, your charity has a responsibility to ensure a healthy and safe environment. You can ask whether the charity has insurance cover for volunteers.

Helping other not-for-profits

There are about 600 000 not-for-profits in Australia. Only about 60 000 of these are registered charities listed on the ACNC Register.

You can find other not-for-profits to help by searching for information online or asking your family or friends about not-for-profits in your area. Many not-for-profits are small and informal groups and there is no comprehensive list of all not-for-profits.

More information

External resources

Attention - Important information!This page contains links to external websites. Any external links used by the ACNC are inserted for convenience and do not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any material at those sites. Information and resources provided by the ACNC is for general information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice regarding your charity's particular circumstances.