Today is Giving Tuesday, a global initiative to give to the charities and not-for-profits that support so many in the community.

“I think Giving Tuesday is a great initiative and provides people with an opportunity to give back to their communities,” said ACNC Commissioner the Hon Dr Gary Johns. “Australians are extremely generous, donating billions of dollars each year to charity, which is fantastic.”

By following some key tips Australians can ensure their donations reach those in need.

“Safe giving is vital to protect donors and charities and ensure the credibility of the charity sector,” Dr Johns said.

However, there are potential issues that can arise when donating your money to charity.

Dr Johns explained that individuals wishing to donate should take steps to ensure their donations go to legitimate charities.

“If you’re donating to a charity as part of Giving Tuesday, don’t let your donation go astray.

“Make sure you use the ACNC Charity Register to do your background check and be confident that you’re supporting a registered charity,” Dr Johns said.

The ACNC Charity Register is a searchable database of registered charities. It provides information about Australia’s 57,000 charities, including the activities they undertake, where they operate and who they support. It also provides access to a charity’s Annual Information Statements and financial reports, which demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to transparency and accountability.

The Charity Register also allows donors to check whether a charity has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status. DGR status lets individuals claim a tax-deductible donation in their annual tax return for donations over $2.

“If you receive a request to donate online, avoid clicking links or providing sensitive personal information via social media.

“It is always best to visit a charity’s website directly to ensure your contribution is going to a legitimate charity,” Dr Johns said.

Find out more about #GivingTuesday via the Giving Tuesday website: givingtuesday.org.au.