With more than 57,000 charities in Australia, there are thousands of fantastic stories about the impact charities have on their community.

We recently spoke with registered charity Community Services #1 about their programs, the most rewarding part of their work, and the challenges they face.

What does your charity do?

Community Services #1 (CS#1) is a community based, non-government organisation that has been providing a wide range of services to families and individuals living in the local area and wider ACT region for more than 30 years. We manage and deliver a range of community services including community development, family support services, children’s services and aged care. Our services are designed to meet community needs and are partly or wholly funded by Commonwealth and ACT Government grants, client contributions, fees and donations. We offer programs for all age groups, from early childhood through to family and individual support for seniors in the community.

What is the most rewarding part?

It is extremely rewarding to be able to provide fantastic services to people within our community that assists, improves and enhances their quality of life. CS#1 provides emotional and practical support to over 2,000 children, women and men every year. Our programs and services across Canberra include early childhood services (child care), transport services, social support groups, Food Pantry, housing support, community breakfasts, Mixed Bag singing group, aged care services and health care services (medical and nutrition support for those most vulnerable in our community).

What is the biggest challenge faced by your charity?

The need for our services is ever increasing. We find however that we can’t always support everyone who seeks our assistance. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as a short supply of volunteers and qualified staff, what funding we have available and the fact that we are already at capacity.

What steps does your charity take to ensure it is transparent and accountable?

There are a variety of steps we take to ensure our organisation is transparent and accountable. Our complaint process is available to our clients, families and staff. Our annual report, which includes a copy of our full financial audited report, is available to online and to all stakeholders. Our constitution and governance documents are available to all staff and accountability is one part of our core cultural beliefs.

How have the ACNC’s resources assisted your charity?

The Australian Charities Report has been very useful for our organisation, particularly to access the latest data and to gain a greater understanding of the sector’s changing landscape. We also use various templates including the constitution for a charitable company limited by guarantee. Other helpful ACNC resources include the Registered Charity Tick information and the self-evaluation tool.

Find out more about Community Services #1 on their website, or via their social media channels:

new guidance icon Interested in sharing your charity’s story? Email us at charitychat@acnc.gov.au.