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Charities are being urged to regularly check they are maintaining their entitlement to registration to ensure they are meeting their obligations to the ACNC.

To maintain entitlement to registration charities must ensure they are still not-for-profit, their purposes are charitable and that they are operating for the public benefit, have an ABN and as well as ensuring that their activities are lawful.

ACNC Commissioner Dr Gary Johns said charities must maintain their entitlement to registration to avoid revocation. He said the ACNC recommended that charities build in a process for regularly checking their entitlement to registration and that the ACNC had a tool to assist charities to make that assessment.

Each registered charity has a record on the ACNC charity register and is obliged to have a governing document attached as well as a list of current responsible people.

Dr Johns said, “Common lapses include charities not keeping their records of responsible people up-to-date, or not having enough responsible people listed as required, and not having a governing document attached to their record on the register,” he said.

Charities must also ensure that their purposes and activities are aligned with their registered charity subtype.

The Australian Charities Report 7th edition, published in May this year, showed that on average charities on the ACNC Charity Register had been operating for 32 years.

Dr Johns said, “Over the long lifecycle of a charity many things can change, including boards and staff, so it’s crucial charities have an established process for these entitlement checks.”

He added: “Our public Charity Register provides key information about Australian charities to the public. It is critical that this information is up to date because that demonstrates the integrity of the sector and its willingness to be transparent.

“It is always of public interest to know how charities are run and by whom, how their funds are accrued and spent. Keeping those details accurate is therefore an important charity task.”

The ACNC has information about maintaining charity registration and a checklist for charities.