Release of the Curtin Charities 2013 Report

Susan Pascoe, Our Commissioner

Today marks an important milestone for the ACNC. Together with our research partners at Curtin University we are releasing the Curtin Charities 2013 Report. The report analyses 2013 Annual Information Statement data collected from over 38,000 charities. It is the first report of its kind and provides a comprehensive insight into the Australian charity sector.

I would highly recommend anyone with an interest in the sector to read the full report available at acnc.gov.au/curtincharitiesreport2013.

It is noteworthy that many of the findings in the Curtin Charities 2013 Report were extracted from publicly available data on our ACNC Charity Register, which now contains the 2013 Annual Information Statement information of over 44,000 charities.

The data on the Charity Register holds great potential to provide a detailed picture of the sector. This report closes the feedback loop and gives back to the sector a detailed analysis of the data they have provided to us via the 2013 Annual Information Statement. The data on the Register will only continue to get richer from 2015 as charities report financial information in the 2014 Annual Information Statement.

The findings presented in the report reveal that the sector is a significant contributor to the Australian economy.

Key findings include that the charity sector:

  • employs nearly 1 million people
  • manages more than 2 million volunteers, and
  • has a combined income of more than $100 billion.

Those working in the sector, researchers, and policy makers in particular will find that the report gives us a better understanding of the needs of the sector. The ACNC is committed to reducing red tape so the findings in relation to reporting are of particular interest to me. Ten per cent of charities experience about 80 per cent of the total administrative burden and these charities tend to be larger charities with government contracts, operating across state borders. These findings together with those in the soon-to-be released research by Ernst and Young provide us with a clear direction on how we can reduce the reporting burden on charities.

With so many involved in the sector either as an employee, volunteer or donor, I have no doubt that the general public will also find the information contained in the report of interest, so I would like to encourage you to share the report with those you know.

Finally, I would like to thank the Curtin University Not-for-profit Initiative for partnering with the ACNC to produce such an informative report.

We will continue to work with Curtin University to share the Curtin Charities 2013 Report with the sector. Together with key professional bodies we will host events in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne in October.
Please see below for details.

Location

Date

Host

Perth

Monday 6 October

Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia

Sydney

Monday 13 October

Governance Institute of Australia

Melbourne

Tuesday 14 October

Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia

You can register your interest to attend here.

Reminder about penalties for 2013 Annual Information Statement non-filers

While the Curtin Charities 2013 Report draws on information from over 38,000 charities, unfortunately a notable exception from the report is data from charities that were late in reporting their 2013 Annual Information Statement.

I would like to again remind these charities that they face penalties if they do not lodge their 2013 Annual Information Statement soon.

Charities on a standard financial reporting period ending 30 June 2013 were required to submit their 2013 Annual Information Statement by 31 March 2014

These charities have now been considered for penalties based on their size and perceived risk. The ACNC is attempting one final time to contact these charities to inform them that they will face penalties. The next milestone for these charities is that the register will highlight to the public that they have failed to meet their lodgement obligations. This will occur in early November 2014.

Therefore these charities must lodge their outstanding 2013 Annual Information Statement immediately to avoid having a notice placed on their Charity Register listing.

Charities with a calendar year reporting period ending 31 December 2013 that were required to submit their 2013 Annual Information Statement due on 30 June 2014 may be subject to penalties from 1 October 2014

Our advice for these charities is to lodge their 2013 Annual Information Statement immediately. ACNC Compliance staff will phone a portion of these charities over the next two weeks to establish whether they will lodge or whether penalties will be applied.

‘Ask ACNC’ sessions continue

Those that need help with their 2013 or 2014 Annual Information Statement can come along to our ‘Ask ACNC’ sessions which continue to run around the country. Please see below for details of upcoming sessions.

Victoria

New South Wales

Box Hill – 25 September

Wollongong – 7 October

Ballarat – 30 September

Albury – 8 October

Broadmeadows – 1 October

You can register your interest at acnc.gov.au/AskACNC.

If you were unable to attend a session in your area or cannot attend one of the upcoming sessions, you can access a copy of your location’s specific presentation on the Ask ACNC sessions web page. A video recording of the Melbourne session will also be available soon on our YouTube channel.

Charity revocations imminent

As part of our ongoing commitment to maintaining an accurate and up-to-date register of charities, we recently published the second list of missing charities on our website. The new list follows the revocation of 246 missing charities in August 2014.

By publishing the list, we are notifying these charities that we intend to revoke their registration, as we believe they are no longer operating.

The group of 400 charities have until 14 October to notify the ACNC that they are still operating if they wish to maintain registration.

The publication of the list follows an exhaustive search by ACNC staff, and these charities have also not submitted their 2013 Annual Information Statement.

If you are familiar with any of these charities, please help us get in contact with them.

Good wishes
Susan Pascoe AM

Contact us

Our phone number is 13 ACNC (13 22 62) or you can email us at advice@acnc.gov.au.
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