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This fortnight I’m writing from Perth, where it has been my pleasure to speak with local charities and state government officials to develop a greater understanding of the charity market here in the west.

Yesterday, I visited Foodbank WA’s distribution centre out by the Perth airport. Andrew Wilkinson, Foodbank WA’s Partnerships and Development Manager, gave me a guided tour of their facility and explained how Foodbank WA distributes enough food to provide 5.7 million meals. The photo of Andrew and me below gives you an idea of the enormous scale of Foodbank WA’s operation.

Earlier in the week I had the opportunity to meet with representatives from a variety of other charities. Each gave unique perspectives on the opportunities and challenges Western Australia’s charities are facing.

I hope to spend more time over the coming months visiting charities across the country to hear about their important work.

Interview with Pro Bono Australia

Last week I had a great conversation with Wendy Williams from Pro Bono Australia about a range of topics – including my background, appointment to the ACNC, views on the charity sector and goals for the Commission throughout my tenure.

In the interview, I discussed the reasons I was drawn to the role of ACNC Commissioner, address my interest in making our data more accessible for all donors and elaborate on the ACNC’s submission to the ACNC Legislation Review.

The full interview is now available on the Pro Bono Australia website.

And if you’d like to watch my first speech as the Commissioner, we have just uploaded the video captured by Sky News’ A-PAC team on our website. You can find that at acnc.gov.au/speeches.

New research shows grant-making charities provided more than $4 billion in 2016

Our latest research report, completed in partnership with the Centre for Social Impact and the Social Policy Research Centre from the University of New South Wales, examines the impact of Australia’s grant-making charities.

The Australia’s Grant-making Charities in 2016 report found that our 10,398 grant-making charities provide more than $4 billion annually in grants and donations, and hold more than $56 billion in assets.

These charities employed more than 103,000 staff – though more than 80 per cent of grant-making charities operate with no paid staff at all. It was also pleasing to find that nearly 340,000 Australians generously donate their time to support these charities.

The funding provided by grant-making charities each year is invaluable to the many people who benefit from it – including the charities that use the funding from grants to provide innovative new support services to their communities.

Australia’s Grant-making Charities in 2016 is now available to download on the Australian Charities Report microsite, australiancharities.acnc.gov.au.

More than 100 charities risking revocation

Last week, the ACNC issued a public notice to 116 charities that have failed to submit two Annual Information Statements, putting them at risk of losing their charity status.

The charities listed have until Friday 13 April 2018 to submit their outstanding Annual Information Statements, or their charity registration will be revoked and they will lose access to Commonwealth charity tax concessions.

Usually we would write to charities to warn them that they risk revocation, however, we have been unable to reach this group. This may mean that they have wound up, or they have simply changed their contact information and failed to let us know.

If you recognise any of the charities listed, I urge you to let the people involved in the charity know that they are in danger of having their registration revoked.

The full list of charities is available on the ACNC website at acnc.gov.au/doubledefaulters.

Free webinars

Every month our education team hosts a free webinar for charities to help them understand and meet their ACNC obligations. Our most recent webinar looked at how small charities, those with annual revenue of $250,000, can best manage their finances.

If you couldn’t join us on the day, don’t worry, all ACNC webinars are made available on our website at acnc.gov.au/webinars.

Our next free webinar is scheduled for 27 March and will be co-hosted with our colleagues at the Australian Taxation Office. Together, we will discuss Commonwealth charity tax concessions.

This is always a popular session, so book your place early; acnc.gov.au/webinars has all of the details.

Best Wishes,

The Hon Dr Gary Johns

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