The ACNC classifies charity size according to the charity's revenue for the reporting period. A large bequest, or similar one-off event, may mean that your charity’s size changes for just one reporting period. If your charity's size changes and you think that your charity is likely to return to its previous size in future reporting periods, you can apply for your charity to continue to be recognised as its former size (and therefore not have to meet the reporting obligations of a larger charity).

Diagram that illustrates how a small charity's size can temporarily increase for one year. If the charity's request to continue to be recognised as a small charity is approved, then the charity continues to report to the ACNC as if it were small.

Charities cannot apply to keep their charity size for consecutive years.

And charities should also note that charity size is determined by total revenue, and not by total income, for the reporting period.

Case study: keeping charity size

Hove Help Centre usually receives an annual revenue of less than $250,000 and is classified as a small charity under the ACNC Act.

Last year the centre had an annual revenue of $200 000. In the current reporting period the centre received a bequest of $500,000. This unique bequest will increase Hove Help Centre’s annual revenue to $700,000. This means the centre will be classified as a medium sized charity for the current reporting period.

Percy Pound, the centre’s financial manager, was concerned that he would have to prepare either reviewed or audited financial reports to submit to the ACNC, as medium charities need to do.

He applied to the ACNC for Hove Help Centre to be recognised as its former size, small. The ACNC approved the application and the centre is able to continue to notify of changes and report as a small charity for the cvurrent reporting period.

For future reporting periods, Hove Help Centre will go back to their original annual revenue of less than $250,000 and remain a small charity.

How do I apply to keep my charity size?

Before you complete your Annual Information Statement, you must complete and submit a copy of Form 4D: Apply to keep charity size to the ACNC.

Do not submit your Annual Information Statement until you receive confirmation from us about our decision to allow you to keep your charity's size.

In Form 4D you will be asked:

  • your charity’s ABN and Name, and
  • the annual revenue for the:
    • previous reporting period
    • current reporting period
    • next reporting period (best estimate if the reporting period has not ended).

The form will also ask you to describe the unusual event that has led to an increase in your annual revenue.

After we have received your form and considered your request, we will write to inform you of our decision.