The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) receives over 150 concerns per month relating to the actions, activities and eligibility of Australia’s registered charities.
Increased media coverage of charity issues and a better understanding of the ACNC’s role as national charity regulator has seen the number of concerns received from members of the public rise by 46 per cent between 2016-17 and 2017-18.
The ACNC takes all concerns about registered charities seriously. We review the concerns raised with us, investigate where appropriate, and refer concerns to other agencies if needed.
The most common concerns received by the ACNC relate to allegations of financial mismanagement, potential harm to beneficiaries, private benefit or fraudulent activity.
The ACNC has the power to investigate breaches of the ACNC Act and the ACNC Governance Standards. Allegations the ACNC can consider include whether a charity is entitled to registration, whether it is meeting its requirements to keep records and provide accurate information, whether charitable funds are being used for private benefits and more.
The ACNC does not have jurisdiction over issues relating to fundraising, contracts, internal disputes, service standards or employment issues. Information about the kinds of concerns the ACNC can address is available on the ACNC website.
If you raise a concern about a charity with the ACNC through our online form, you will be notified by email that the concern has been received. In some limited cases, the ACNC may contact you for additional information or to let you know the concern is outside of our jurisdiction. Please be aware that due to the secrecy provisions in the ACNC Act, we are unable to provide updates or advise you of any action we may take in response to your concern.
We publish action we take against registered charities, including revocation of charity status, at acnc.gov.au/compliancedecisions.
For further information about our regulatory process or to raise a concern with the ACNC, visit acnc.gov.au/charityconcern.