The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is urging Australians to ensure their donations are going to registered charities, this holiday season.
The festive season brings out the generosity of Australians. Many people are compelled to donate to charity, or gift a donation to a charity, on behalf of someone else over the holidays.
ACNC Commissioner, the Hon Dr Gary Johns says the generosity of Australians is increasingly evident in the festive season.
However, he warns potential donors against giving money or goods to organisations that are not registered charities.
“It is vitally important to ensure you know who you are donating to, so that your donation reaches its intended destination.
“Doing a few quick checks before you donate can make a big difference,” Dr Johns said.
The ACNC is promoting three quick and easy key steps people can take to donate with confidence to one of Australia’s 57,000 charities this Christmas.
- Search the ACNC Charity Register.
- Check with the charity to see what goods they need
- Donate with caution.
Using the Charity Register, potential donors can search and browse the ACNC’s database of information about the 57,000 registered charities in Australia.
Dr Johns said, “Through the Charity Register, you can see a summary of a charity’s activities, financial information, where they operate and who they help.
“You can also use the Charity Register to check whether the charity has Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status.
“When a charity has DGR status, donors can claim a tax deduction for donations over $2.”
Many charities run donation campaigns in lead-up to the busy holiday season to source the goods they need.
“If you are donating gifts, food or other goods this holiday season, it is best to check with the charity directly to ensure they can use your goods,” Dr Johns said.
Finally, many charities choose to run fundraising appeals during the holidays, both online and in-person.
If you are approached by a street collector, you are entitled to request identification before committing to a donation.
Similarly, if you receive a request to donate to a charity online, Dr Johns has the following advice.
“Clicking on unsolicited links can be dangerous. It is a good idea to visit the charity’s website directly to ensure the donation is going to the right charity, not an imitation,” Dr Johns said.
Dr Johns also encouraged people making online donations to be cautious with their personal information, such as bank and credit card details.
“Protecting your sensitive personal information is important. Don’t give this information out via social media channels,” Dr Johns said.
Dr Johns encouraged Australians to continue to give generously and not to be deterred by taking a few quick steps to ensure they are giving to legitimate charities.
“Thousands of Australian charities work very hard to make Christmas a joyful time for everyone.
“Please continue to support their excellent work by donating safely this festive season,” he said.
The ACNC has more information about how to give safely to charities on their website: acnc.gov.au/safegiving
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