National risk assessment into the not-for-profit sector

The ACNC-AUSTRAC risk assessment of Australia’s not-for-profit sector was published on 28 August 2017, following extensive analysis of the sector.

Download Australia’s non-profit organisation sector: money laundering and terrorism financing risk assessment [PDF 4.8MB]

Read the ACNC-AUSTRAC media release, featuring statements from both agency heads, here.

What is a risk assessment?

A risk assessment looks at the threats, vulnerabilities and consequences of particular risks and provides an overall risk rating.

The ACNC-AUSTRAC Australia’s non-profit organisation sector: money laundering and terrorism financing risk assessment looked at the risks facing the not-for-profit sector and found overall rating for terrorism financing to be medium. The overall risk rating for money laundering is also medium.

What was the aim of the national risk assessment into charities and not-for-profit organisations?

This risk assessment aimed to identify:

  • the risk of money laundering and terrorism financing in the not-for-profit sector
  • vulnerabilities and risk indicators of high-risk organisations
  • groups of high-risk organisations that will benefit from targeted outreach and support
  • vulnerabilities that could be exploited to support terrorism, and a strategy to counter these vulnerabilities

Why did we need a risk assessment of the not-for-profit sector?

This risk assessment aimed to build a better understanding of the extent, nature and types of money laundering and terrorism financing risks faced by the not-for-profit sector.

It provides insight into where the risks lie for the not-for-profit sector and includes practical strategies and tools to help not-for-profits protect themselves against these risks.

The risk assessment will inform a whole-of-government framework for the following:

  • targeting of future outreach to the sector
  • ensuring supervision and  monitoring of the sector is appropriate and risk-based
  • coordinating information-gathering and investigations of not-for-profits at risk of misuse.

The risk assessment also improves Australia’s compliance with the international standards identified by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body that develops and promotes policies to protect the global financial system against money laundering, the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

To learn more about FATF and its recommendations visit

What was involved in the risk assessment?

The ACNC and AUSTRAC worked together to undertake the national risk assessment on charities and not-for-profit organisations. The risk assessment considered qualitative and quantitative data about the not-for-profit sector, as well as academic research and intelligence from law enforcement agencies. 

More information

For more information, contact the risk assessment team at

External resources

Australian Transactions Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)