Who we are

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is the national regulator of charities. The ACNC was established in December 2012 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.

The ACNC is led by Commissioner Hon Dr Gary Johns, Assistant Commissioner Murray Baird, and a strong leadership team. The ACNC Commissioner's position is established by section 110-5 of the ACNC Act.

Read more about our leaders.

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
  • works with state and territory governments (as well as federal, state and territory government agencies) to develop a 'report-once, use-often' reporting framework for charities.

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.

The work of the ACNC is guided by our corporate policies and procedures.

Red tape reduction

As part of our work to reduce unnecessary regulatory obligations on the not-for-profit sector we have created a Charity Passport. The Charity Passport uses a 'report once, use often' framework for charities and government agencies. We also work with other regulators to further harmonise reporting and other requirements for charities.

The ACNC is the national charity regulator. Our approach to charity regulation was developed in consultation with the charity sector. As part of our compliance role, and in investigating concerns raised about charities, we look at risks for charities. We aim to support charities through advice and education, using regulatory powers where necessary.

Our decisions are open to review and appeal, under the ACNC Act and administrative law, and information-handling and freedom of information (FOI) requirements apply to the ACNC.

Read more about how we regulate charities.

One of our functions is to improve public understanding of the work of charities and the not-for-profit sector generally. As part of this work, we make available the information we collect as part of regulating charities, including information reported to us annually by charities.

Find out more about:

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is 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 other Commonwealth regulators.