The information the ACNC publishes on the Charity Register is mostly drawn from the Annual Information Statement charities complete each year.
We can only publish certain information on the Charity Register, and that can vary depending on the type of charity involved, or whether the ACNC has agreed to withhold certain information from the Charity Register.
Charities have an obligation to notify us of changes to their charity details. If your charity's information on the Register is out of date, you can update your charity details in the Charity Portal.
Information you can find on the Charity Register
At the top of each charity's page on the Charity Register, the organisation's legal name is shown. Below this, the Charity Register page shows a charity's registration status, and whether its reporting is up to date. For example:
The majority of the information listed on a charity's Register page is contained under four different tabs:
- Financials and Documents
Information contained under the 'Profile' tab of the Charity Register can include:
Also known as
- This shows the other names a charity is publicly known by.
Australian Business Number (ABN)
- The ACNC uses a charity’s ABN as an identifying detail. Refer to ABN Lookup for information about a listed charity, including any tax concessions it receives and whether it has deductible gift recipient (DGR) status.
- This can include the charity's address, its email, its Address For Service email (through which the ACNC will contact the charity), the charity's website and its phone number.
- The Register will display if a charity is small, medium or large (based on its annual revenue).
Who the charity helps
- This part of the page lists a charity's beneficiaries, drawn from responses the charity provided in its most recent Annual Information Statement.
- The Profile tab lists a charity's establishment date, as well as its financial year end (the last date of a charity’s annual reporting period with the ACNC), when it last reported to the ACNC, and when its next round of reporting is due.
Summary of activities
- This section is where a charity provides a brief rundown of the work that it does and is drawn from information provided in the charity's most recent Annual Information Statement. This summary can contain a general overview of its overall activities, details of the work it has undertaken in the past 12 months, or a mix of both.
- This is a list of programs the charity runs in order to fulfil its charitable purpose. The programs are drawn from details the charity provides in its Annual Information Statement.
Where the charity operates
- This is a list of the locations within Australia, and overseas (if applicable), where the charity operates.
Basic Religious Charity status
- Whether the charity is a Basic Religious Charity. If it is, it will be exempt from some obligations set out in the ACNC Act.
- Charts of a charity's income and expenses also appear under the Profile tab of its Register page. These graphs are based on information supplied in the charity's most recent Annual Information Statement.
- The graphs are a different way of looking at financial information that has long been available on the Charity Register. For more on the financial information featured on the Register, see our guidance about understanding financial information on the Charity Register page.
The information contained under the Financials and Documents tab on a charity's Register page focuses on its reporting - both financial and general. Information here includes:
Annual Information Statement
- Links to the Annual Information Statements a charity has completed and submitted.
- Links to the annual financial reports the charity has completed and submitted. Medium and large charities must submit audited or reviewed financial reports when submitting their Annual Information Statements. Small charities can choose to submit financial reports.
- This section contains copies of the charity's governing document - its formal document (which might be also known as its constitution or rules) that include its purpose, activities and processes.
- Charts of a charity's income and expenses also appear on this page. These graphs are based on information supplied in the charity's most recent Annual Information Statement.
Information about a charity's Responsible People is contained under the People tab on a charity's Register page.
Responsible People are those people responsible for directing a charity - most commonly those on the charity's board or committee, or trustees.
This page of a charity's Register listing contains both the names and positions of its Responsible People.
By clicking on either the name of the Responsible Person or the 'View Profile' link, you can view more details about the Responsible Person and which charities they are associated with.
The Charity Register's History tab provides information about a charity's subtype, registration and whether there has been any enforcement actions taken against it.
- A charity's category of registration, based on its charitable purpose, as well as its start and end date - the time period for which a charity has been registered as a particular subtype. This listing is in chronological order.
Registration status history
- This listing includes confirmation of the charity's registration status (if it is registered, if the ACNC has revoked its registration as a charity, or if the charity itself has asked to have its charity registration cancelled), as well as the effective date that the charity was registered with the ACNC.
Enforcement action history
- Details of whether the ACNC has taken any enforcement actions against a charity - for example: warnings, directions, undertakings, injunctions or the suspension or removal of Responsible People. This information is only published on the register after a charity has had reasonable time to respond to any such action.
In certain circumstances, charities can request that the ACNC withhold certain information from appearing on the Register.
The ACNC Commissioner has discretion to withhold or remove information from the Register. The limited reasons for which we can approve an application include:
- publishing the information could endanger public safety
- the information is commercially sensitive and publishing it could cause harm to the charity or a person
- the information is inaccurate, or likely to confuse or mislead, or
- the information is offensive.
For private ancillary funds, there are additional reasons:
- the information is likely to identify an individual donor
- publishing contact details would create an unreasonable administrative burden for the charity.
Even if a charity meets one or more of the above circumstances, the ACNC may refuse to withhold or remove information where it is deemed that the public interest in displaying the information outweighs the likely adverse effect of that circumstance.
Find out more about information withheld from the Charity Register.
Financial information displayed on the Charity Register
All charities (unless they are exempt from doing so) must provide basic financial information to the ACNC through their Annual Information Statement. This financial information provides an overview of a charity's income, expenses, assets and liabilities.
The size of the charity determines the financial information that it must provide. Medium and large charities must include a financial report with their Annual Information Statement. Medium charities must submit either an audited or reviewed financial report and large charities must submit an audited financial report. Small charities are not required to include a financial report but they can include one if they want to.
While charities are required to comply with Australian Accounting Standards, there is no set format or template that all charities must follow.
Financial information provided in the Annual Information Statement is displayed on the Charity Register. The financial information from the most recent Annual Information Statement provides the figures for the income and expenses graphs on the Overview tab of a charity's page on the Charity Register. Financial documents a charity provides can be found under the 'Financials and Documents' tab on their Charity Register page.
While the information on the Charity Register can be a good starting point for understanding a charity and its activities, it is important to consider a charity's unique situation when looking at its financial information or comparing it to another charity.
When interpreting a charity's financial information, you should consider how these important factors affect its finances:
- the charity's size and complexity
- where it operates
- its activities and beneficiaries
- its assets and liabilities
- grants or other funding considerations
- how it presents it financial reports, and the type of accounting it uses.
Graphs on the Charity Register
On each charity's page on the Charity Register, there are graphs that provide a breakdown of the charity's revenue and expenses.
The graphs are a different way of looking at financial information that has long been available on the Charity Register.
See our guidance about financial information on the Charity Register for more information about the elements of revenue and expenses, and for guidance about how the public can best understand the financial information provided by charities.
The Charity Register is an important regulatory tool but we also use the information on it to learn more about the sector and how charities contribute to the community.
Each year we use information provided to us by charities to publish an in-depth analysis of Australia’s charity sector, called the Australian Charities Report.
For more information about the Australian Charities Report, see our information about charity sector research.