Charity activities

This information is designed to help charities complete Section B: Activities, in the Annual Information Statement. Activities include operations and programs undertaken, as well as the provision of funds or other support. Activities can be financial or non-financial. For example, developing a strategic plan, employing staff and doing administrative work are all activities.

Activities

Each category of activity is listed below with examples of activities a charity may undertake that could be listed under each category. The examples are not an exhaustive list. They are only listed as a guide. Your charity’s experience may be different.

Table of contents for Activities:

What were your charity’s activities in the reporting period?

The activities in this list are high-level classifications, you can provide more detail about your activities, and how they helped achieve your charity’s purpose in the text box.

Attention - Important information! The activities are based on the International Classification of Non-profit organisations.

When completing the activities question in your Annual Information Statement you will need to select one main activity from the dropdown list, and then select as many general activities as needed from the checklist. You cannot select ‘other’ as your main activity. 

Your charity’s activities will be published on the public ACNC Register. To better communicate to the public where your efforts are directed, select only your main activities.

You may wish to look at your annual report to make sure you select all of your charity’s activities. Please try and group your activities under the options provided rather than selecting ‘other’. If any activities that your charity conducted are not listed, select the ‘other’ box and briefly describe them (using one word or phrase).

In previous years’ Annual Information Statements, many charities listed activities under the ‘other’ category when they could have been listed under another category of activity. We have suggested some alternatives below.

Activities listed under the 'other’ category

Suggested categories to list these activities under

Childcare Social services
Community Services Economic, social and community development
Disability Services Social services
Preschool
Early childhood education
Kindergarten
P&C Associations
Primary and secondary education*

*definition includes preschool organisations other than day care

Attention - Important information! If your charity’s activities included activities overseas, you will need to select all of the countries where the activities happened.


Culture and recreation

Culture and arts

Promoting Australian Indigenous culture and customs.
Example: a community radio station broadcasts all of its content in a particular Aboriginal language to promote the continued use of the language among its native speakers and their families.

Media and communications - Production and dissemination of information and communications about culture or art; includes radio and TV stations, publishing of books, journals, newspapers and newsletters, film production and libraries.

Example: a monthly newsletter that promotes local community events, local music and educational events.Economic, social and community development
Visual arts, architecture, ceramic art -Production, dissemination and display of visual arts and architecture; includes sculpture, photographic societies, painting, drawing, design centres and architectural associations. Example: an artist-run space held a show presenting contemporary art to the community. Social services
Performing arts –Performing arts centres, companies and associations; includes theatre, dance, ballet, opera, orchestras, choirs and music ensembles. Example: a community group held dance and theatre performances over a weekend to celebrate local performing arts. primary and secondary education*
Historical, literary and humanistic societies -Promotion and appreciation of the humanities, preservation of historical and cultural artefacts and commemoration of historical events; includes historical societies, poetry and literary societies, language associations, reading promotion, war memorials and commemorative funds and associations. Example: a society that collects, preserves and displays documents and photos from the local council area held an exhibition in the local council chambers.
Museums - General and specialised museums covering art, history, sciences, technology and culture; includes museums that preserve and exhibit Australian heritage. Example: a museum that collects and displays to the public specialised clothing and textiles, with information regarding the significance of each of the pieces it displays.
Zoos and aquariums. Example: a zoo breeds endangered species, and has educational information about the animals it displays to the public.

Sports

Sporting activities undertaken only as a means of furthering a charitable purpose –Includes providing opportunities for people with a disability to participate in sport that they would otherwise be unable to and using sport as a means to ensure young people (who would otherwise disengage from school) continue their schooling.

Example: a school for young offenders who have disengaged from mainstream schooling ran an AFL training program with the local AFL club to increase engagement and attendance at school.

Other recreation activity

Recreation and social activities undertaken only as a means of furthering a charitable purpose - Includes providing recreational activities to people with a disability who would otherwise be unable to participate in them and providing social activities to elderly people suffering from social isolation.

Example: an organisation provides a social gathering for newly arrived refugees in a community to assist them to feel at home and to meet others in the community. Another organisation provides social activities for elderly people who live alone, to reduce their social isolation.

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Education and research

Primary and secondary education

Pre-school, primary and secondary education - Education at pre-school, primary and secondary levels; includes pre-school organisations other than day care.

Example: a kindergarten provides education for three and four-year-olds.

Higher education

Higher education - Higher learning, providing academic degrees; includes universities.

Example: a university provides diploma and degree-level qualifications.

Other education

Vocational/technical schools - Technical and vocational training specifically geared towards gaining employment; includes trade schools.

Example: a training organisation offers certificate courses in food handling, responsible sale of alcohol and hospitality.

Adult/continuing education - Institutions engaged in providing education and training in addition to the formal educational system; includes schools of continuing studies, correspondence schools, night schools and sponsored literacy and reading programs.

Example: a community centre runs an educational program to teach adults who disengaged from the school system at an early age to read and write.

Less formal education aimed at the development of citizenship and core life skills.

Example: an organisation runs educational programs in schools to teach children about the dangers of recreational drug use.

Other support for education, such as the provision of scholarships and prizes.

Example: a trust set up to annually give a scholarship for mathematical excellence.

Research

Medical research - Research in the medical field; includes research on specific diseases, disorders or medical disciplines.

Example: an organisation funds research into a potential new treatment for heart disease.

Science and technology - Research in the physical and life sciences and engineering and technology.

Example: an organisation funds research into why a particular species of frog is disappearing from a number of its former habitats.

Social sciences and policy studies - Research and analysis in the social sciences and policy area.

Example: an organisation undertakes research into unemployment levels in a particular area to determine whether they can be reduced.

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Health

Hospital services and rehabilitation activities

Hospitals - Primarily inpatient medical care and treatment.

Example: a hospital provides an emergency department, operating rooms for surgery, wards and consulting suites.

Science and technology - Research in the physical and life sciences and engineering and technology.

Example: an organisation funds research into why a particular species of frog is disappearing from a number of its former habitats.

Rehabilitation - Inpatient health care and rehabilitative therapy to individuals suffering from physical impairments due to injury, genetic defect or disease and requiring extensive physiotherapy or similar forms of care.

Example: an organisation provides rehabilitative services to people who have lost mobility after suffering from a stroke.

Aged care activities

Nursing homes - Inpatient convalescent care and residential care, as well as primary health care services; includes homes for the frail elderly and nursing homes for those with significant disabilities.

Example: an organisation provides residential care for elderly people who cannot live independently.

Mental health and crisis intervention

Psychiatric hospitals - Inpatient care and treatment for the mentally ill.

Example: a residential unit provides treatment for people with severe mental illness.

Mental health treatment - Outpatient treatment for mentally ill patients; includes community mental health centres and halfway homes.

Example: an organisation provides counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy to treat individuals with mental illness.

Crisis intervention - Outpatient services and counselling in acute mental health situations; includes suicide prevention and support to victims of assault and abuse.

Example: an organisation provides counselling to support people who are experiencing domestic abuse.

Other health service delivery

Public health and wellness education - Public health promotion and health education; includes sanitation screening for potential health hazards, first aid training and services, nutrition services and family planning services.

Example: an organisation provides seminars in primary schools to teach children about germs and the importance of washing their hands. Another organisation raises awareness of the symptoms of heart disease and how to keep your heart healthy.

Health treatment, primarily outpatient - Organisations that provide primarily outpatient health services.

Example: an organisation that runs health clinics and provides vaccination services for people who live in remote areas.

Rehabilitative medical services - Outpatient therapeutic care.

Example: an organisation provides podiatry services to people who have experienced foot injuries who otherwise would not be able to access these services.

Emergency medical services - Services to persons in need of immediate care; includes paramedical emergency care, shock/trauma programs and ambulance services.

Example: an ambulance service provides emergency and routine transport services to people who need hospital care.

Hospice services.

Example: an organisation provides end-of-life palliative care to the terminally ill.

Alcohol and drug rehabilitation services.

Example: an organisation provides residential treatment to people with a drug addiction to assist them to overcome their addiction.

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Social services

Child welfare, child services and day care - Includes adoption services, child development centres, foster care, infant day care centres and nurseries.

Example: an organisation provides day care services for children.

Youth services and youth welfare - Includes delinquency prevention services, teen pregnancy prevention, drop-out prevention, youth centres and clubs and job programs for youth.

Example: a youth centre provides a range of services for young people in their local area including counselling, homework help, and school holiday programs.

Family services - Includes family life/parent education, single parent agencies and services and family violence shelters and services.

Example: an organisation provides a support group for single parents to assist them with parenting alone.

Services for people with a disability - Includes homes, other than nursing homes, transport facilities, recreation, and other specialised services.

Example: an organisation provides a range of transport options for people with disabilities and their carers.

Services for the elderly - Organisations providing geriatric care; includes in-home services, homemaker services, transport facilities, recreation, meal programs and other services geared towards senior citizens.

Example: an organisation runs a food delivery service to provide meals to people with a disability and to elderly people who can no longer cook for themselves.

Self-help and other personal social welfare services - Programs and services for self-help and personal development; includes support groups, personal counselling and credit counselling/money management services.

Example: an organisation provides financial literacy training to people experiencing financial need that have had problems with servicing consumer credit debt.

Supporting disadvantaged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians - Includes advancing economic opportunities in remote communities, and reducing general disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Example: an organisation provides assistance to a remote Aboriginal community so that they are able to access electricity and clean drinking water.

Promoting greater understanding and respect between groups of individuals within Australia – Includes cultural exchange groups, cultural awareness groups, groups organised to eliminate discrimination, promoting conflict resolution, promoting equality and diversity.

Example: an organisation promotes gender equality and respect for all people, regardless of their gender.

Emergency and relief

Disaster/emergency prevention and control - Organisations that work to prevent, predict, control and alleviate the effects of disasters, to educate or otherwise prepare individuals to cope with the effects of disasters, or to provide relief to disaster victims; includes volunteer fire departments, life boat services etc

Example: an organisation provides temporary accommodation and food for people who have had to evacuate their homes due to a bushfire.

Income support and maintenance

Income support and maintenance - Organisations providing cash assistance and other forms of direct services to people who are in financial need to assist them to meet their living expenses.

Example: an organisation that gives vouchers to people in financial need so that they can purchase groceries.

Material assistance - Organisations providing food, clothing, transport, and other forms of assistance; includes food banks and clothing distribution centres.

Example: an organisation provides food parcels to people who are experiencing financial need and basic necessities for newly arrived refugees.

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Environment

Environmental activities

Pollution abatement and control - Organisations that promote clean air, clean water, reducing and preventing noise pollution, radiation control, treatment of hazardous wastes and toxic substances, solid waste management and recycling programs.

Example: an organisation undertakes activities to reduce levels of pollution being discharged into the river from local farms.

Natural resources conservation and protection - Conservation and preservation of natural resources, including land, water, energy and plant resources for the general use and enjoyment of the public.

Example: an organisation runs public awareness campaigns about how to conserve electricity.

Environmental beautification and open spaces - Botanical gardens, arboreta, horticultural programs and landscape services; organisations promoting anti-litter campaigns; programs to preserve the parks, green spaces and open spaces in urban or rural areas; and city and highway beautification programs.

Example: an organisation undertakes projects to clear noxious weeds from areas of native bush in national parks.

Animal protection

Animal protection and welfare - Includes animal shelters and humane societies.

Example: an organisation provides shelter accommodation for lost and surrendered dogs and cats and finds new homes for them.

Wildlife preservation and protection - Includes sanctuaries and refuges.

Example: an organisation provides a sanctuary for injured native animals that are unable to fend for themselves in the wild.

Veterinary services - Animal hospitals and services providing care to farm and household animals and pets.

Example: an organisation provides free and low-cost veterinary services for the pets of people who are in financial need and therefore unable to afford to pay market rates for veterinary care.

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Development and housing

Economic, social and community development

Community and neighbourhood organisations - Organisations working towards improving the quality of life within communities or neighbourhoods, e.g., squatters' associations, local development organisations and co-operatives for people experiencing financial need.

Example: a neighbourhood house provides assistance and support for newly arrived migrants from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, refugees and other vulnerable people in the community.

Economic development - Organisations that advance industry and commerce for the public benefit. 

Example: an organisation undertakes activities to advance agriculture in Australia through improvements to farming methods and research into pest management.

Social development - Organisations working towards improving the institutional infrastructure and capacity to alleviate social problems.

Example: an organisation invests in critical infrastructure projects such as building bridges and roads to connect remote communities, which in turn improves health, education, and economic opportunities for the people of these communities.

Housing activities

Housing associations – Includes development, construction, management, leasing, financing and rehabilitation of housing Example: an organisation provides low-cost rental housing for people who are unable to afford to pay market rent.

Housing assistance - Organisations providing housing search, and assistance to people who face barriers to obtaining housing.

Example: an organisation that helps people experiencing homelessness find long-term accommodation.

Employment and training

Job training programs - Organisations providing and supporting apprenticeship programs, internships, on-the-job training and other training programs.

Example: an organisation assists long-term unemployed people to create a resumé, apply for jobs, and prepare for interviews. 

Vocational counselling and guidance – Includes career counselling and guidance, testing and related services.

Example: an organisation provides services to young people who have disengaged from school to explore career, education, or training options.

Vocational rehabilitation and sheltered workshops - Organisations that promote self-sufficiency and income generation through job training and employment.

Example: an organisation works with businesses and people with a disability to provide those workers with employment.

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Law and advocacy

Advocacy and civic activities

Advocacy organisations - Organisations that protect the rights and promote the interests of specific groups of people, e.g., people with a disability, the elderly, children and women.

Example: an organisation undertakes activities to raise awareness of human trafficking and generate debate about how the community could act to end human trafficking.

Civil rights associations - Organisations that work to protect or preserve individual civil liberties and human rights.

Example: an organisation promotes the right to freedom of speech and draws public attention to instances where this freedom is being curtailed.

Advancing public debate – Organisations that promote public debate about a law, or change to a law, that would hinder or promote a charity’s charitable purpose.

Example: an organisation promotes a change to a State law relating to public transport fines to recognise a wider group of people (people experiencing financial need) who can apply to have the fine waived on the basis of ‘special circumstances’.

Law and legal services

Legal services - Includes advice and assistance in dispute resolution and court-related matters.

Example: a community legal centre provides free or low-cost legal advice to people in financial need who need to interact with the criminal justice system, either due to being arrested for a crime or being a victim of crime.

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Philanthropic intermediaries and voluntarism promotion

Grant-making activities

Grant-making foundations - Private foundations; including corporate foundations and community foundations. Example: a private ancillary fund makes grants to charitable organisations that are endorsed as a deductible gift recipient.

Other philanthropic intermediaries and voluntarism promotion

Volunteerism promotion and support.

Example: a community volunteering organisation recruits and trains volunteers and then places them with partner charities.

Fundraising organisations.

Example: an organisation holds a number of dinners during the year, for which it charges a large sum per person, on the basis that all proceeds are donated to partner charities.

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International

International activities

International development assistance - Programs and projects that promote social and economic development abroad. Example: an organisation works with a community in a remote village in a developing country to establish a system for obtaining clean drinking water. Another organisation works with a local partner organisation to provide micro loans to people in developing countries so that they are able to establish small businesses to support themselves and their families.

International disaster and relief organisations - Organisations that collect, channel and provide humanitarian assistance to other countries during times of disaster or emergency.

Example: an organisation collects donations of clothing, blankets, and basic necessities and sends them to an overseas country that has been affected by a natural disaster.

International human rights and peace organisations - Organisations which promote and monitor human rights internationally.

Example: an organisation provides funding for legal representation to citizens in overseas countries who are political dissidents and have been imprisoned to stop their views being heard, but who cannot afford to fund a legal challenge against their imprisonment.

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Religion

Religious activities

Congregations - Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, shrines, monasteries, seminaries and similar organisations promoting religious beliefs and administering religious services and rituals.

Example: a church provides weekly services on a Sunday and Sunday school classes for the children in its parish.

Associations of congregations - Associations and auxiliaries of religious congregations and organisations supporting and promoting religious beliefs, services and rituals.

Example: an organisation provides administrative support and guidance to a number of small congregations in a particular area, including providing bibles and hymn books, providing pamphlets regarding particular aspects of the faith, and helping the congregations to comply with their legal obligations.

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Other

Other (free text to describe) - Please make sure the activity does not fall under another category before you place it under ‘other’.

Example: an organisation does fundraising and marketing to promote their charity and its purpose.