Step 3: Does my not-for-profit benefit the public?

Your not-for-profit’s charitable purpose must be for the public benefit.

There are many ways your not-for-profit can benefit the public – it can provide goods, services, education, counselling or spiritual guidance, or improve the environment. Some types of purposes (for example, advancing education, relieving poverty, advancing religion) are also presumed to be for the public benefit, unless there is evidence otherwise.

Charities may aim to benefit the public generally, or a particular group of people (for example, a local community, refugees or young people). Charities do not have to benefit everyone in a community, but any restrictions must be consistent with their charitable purpose. For example, a food bank could restrict its beneficiaries to people who cannot afford their own food, but it could not restrict it to people based on their appearance.

Your organisation may not be a charity if it is too restrictive in who can receive benefits. For example, an organisation set up to provide scholarships to employees of a particular employer is unlikely to be a charity.

Find out more about public benefit.

Attention - Important information!You will be asked to state who will benefit from your not-for-profit’s activities (its beneficiaries) as part of the application process.


You may not be eligible to register your not-for-profit with the ACNC.

Your organisation may be eligible to register. Move to Step 4.