I am pleased to announce that charities now have the opportunity to showcase their work to donors, supporters and the broader public, with the release of the 2020 Annual Information Statement.

For the first time, the Annual Information Statement enables each charity to provide details about its programs.

In the 2020 Annual Information Statement, charities will provide the details of up to ten programs, including each program’s beneficiaries and the location in which it is delivered.

Each charity will also categorise its programs using a standard classification system. This will make the information about a charity and its programs much more accessible and easier to find on the ACNC Charity Register when we introduce enhanced search functionality in 2021.

We believe this to be a significant innovation and an excellent opportunity for charities to use the 2020 Annual Information Statement to showcase their work.

The information that a charity submits in its 2020 Annual Information Statement will be displayed on its Charity Register listing. Next year we aim to implement enhanced geospatial register search functionality that will enable public users to search for charities by areas of service as well as program type.

The overall aim is to transform the ACNC Charity Register into an effective tool for charities and those who seek to work with and support them. Already the Register is the largest and most comprehensive charity database in Australia, bringing together information about Australia’s 58,000 registered charities.

With additional program information from Australia’s registered charities in the 2020 Annual Information Statement, the general public – including donors, philanthropists, grant-makers and volunteers – will be able to search for charities based on the work they want to support in the location of their choice.

In the last financial year, there were more that 3.2 million searches of the Charity Register, demonstrating its value as a resource. We anticipate that this number will grow once people can search for programs that interest them.

Providing details about programs using a standard classification system will help charities speak to volunteers, donors in a common language. In time, it will work to support donations, volunteering, fundraising and collaboration.

Also, critically, it will improve transparency and, as a result, increase public trust and confidence in charities.

We have chosen to deliver an important aspect of transparency by enabling visibility of charities’ work. Charities can display their work in a way that allows donors to find what they offer. We call this innovation The Charity Marketplace.

To make the most of this chance to showcase your charity’s work, I ask you to take the time to provide detailed information about your charity’s programs when completing the 2020 Annual Information Statement.

Best wishes,
The Hon Dr Gary Johns