The last day to submit the 2018 Annual Information Statement for charities that operate on a calendar year (from 1 January to 31 December) is fast approaching.

Charities have just over two weeks left to submit their 2018 Annual Information Statement.

As the due date approaches, the demand on the Charity Portal will increase. I encourage you to submit now to avoid the last-minute rush.

To submit the Annual Information Statement log in to the new Charity Portal at charity.acnc.gov.au. If you have not logged in to the new Charity Portal since it launched in October last year, you will need to set up your login details.

More information about the 2018 Annual Information Statement, including a helpful checklist and guide, is available on our website at acnc.gov.au/2018AIS.

Engaging with the sector

I have mentioned previously how much I enjoy meeting and engaging with the sector. I recently visited The Pyjama Foundation in Albion, Brisbane. This foundation commenced 10 years ago. It was started by one woman who observed the power of reading to a child in foster care. She now has a charity with hundreds of volunteers reading to, on an enduring basis, hundreds of fostered children in Queensland, and expanding to other states.

I also visited Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC) located on the banks of the Maribyrnong river in Melbourne. FCAC is an NDIS provider of services to artists with disabilities. It has renovated a factory and created some extraordinary performance and activity spaces for the local community. There is an historic building, a former piggery (apparently) and beautiful grounds running to the Maribyrnong.

Last Friday, ACNC staff were fortunate enough to hear from representatives from two small charities in Melbourne.

Ella Mitchell from Women’s Leadership Institute Australia and Jas Streten from Australian Patients Association spoke with us about each charity, what it does and the challenges each charity faces.

It is always valuable for us to hear from charities about their experiences and how our work can assist them to get on with their work.

Thank you to Ella and Jas for taking the time to come and speak with us.

New edition of ACNC Quarterly out now

Last week we published the latest edition of ACNC Quarterly.

ACNC Quarterly is your source of information about the ACNC, and showcases resources to help your charity meet its obligations to the ACNC.

This quarter we cover a range of topics including the release of the Australian Charities Report 2017, the ACNC Act’s Second Object consultation, the ATO’s non-profit news service, reforms to whistleblower protections and new education and guidance resources.

ACNC Quarterly is sent to the address-for-service email address for all registered charities and published on our website. You can read the new edition of ACNC Quarterly here.

Update on our project to connect charities and donors through the ACNC Charity Register

As mentioned in my column previously, we are working on an improved search function on our website that will help connect donors, charities and volunteers.

I am pleased to announce that the project has now been formalised and the first phase will be kicking off in the coming weeks.

I look forward to providing further updates on the project as it progresses and I look forward to sharing the exciting milestones and developments as we reach them.

Upcoming webinars

The dates and topics for our next two webinars have been released.

The June webinar will be held on 26 June and will take an in-depth look at the key findings from the Australian Charities Report 2017.

The July webinar will be held on 24 July and will focus on starting a charity, including looking at the definition of charity, how to decide whether starting a charity is the best option for you, and the requirements to register a charity.

If you are interested in either of these webinars, I would encourage you to register via the ACNC Website and secure your spot today.

Share your charity's story

Our ‘Getting to Know’ series is a wonderful way to tell your charity’s story to a wider audience.

Each ‘Getting to Know’ piece is featured on the ACNC website, and promoted across our social media accounts.

You can read the previous ‘Getting to Know’ stories we have published at acnc.gov.au/gettingtoknow.

We are always looking for charities to feature. If you would like to share your story with us, email charitychat@acnc.gov.au.

Best wishes
The Hon Dr Gary Johns