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Providing safe, secure and permanent housing for financially vulnerable older, single women who are at risk of homelessness. That’s the main charitable purpose of the Older Women Co-Housing Association (Queensland) Inc.

Trading as Sharing with Friends, it became a registered charity last year, and is on the Charity Register.

President Susan Davies said the organisation decided to apply to the ACNC for registration because it will rely on philanthropy to fulfil its aims.

“Tax deductibility is an important element for attracting funds from our generous donors,” Ms Davies said.

“The benefits of being a registered charity include having greater recognition and credibility. Donors can have confidence about our governance.

“We published our charitable status on our website as soon as we were registered. We recently developed marketing material to present to potential supporters, and our charitable status is an important element of that material.”

Ms Davies said the process was clear, however it was important to be prepared to provide necessary information to meet registration criteria. “We were greatly assisted by our ACNC case manager who advised us about some additional information that was necessary to complete our application.”

For those considering applying, Ms Davies recommends carefully considering the criteria to demonstrate eligibility.

“The ACNC website is very informative. We believe that it is important to carefully consider that material before applying, to ensure that your organisation would fulfil the criteria. It is also important to make sure that your constitution is consistent with the ACNC requirements. An experienced lawyer also provided invaluable pro bono assistance in the preparation of our application.”

The ACNC website has guidance about matters to consider before you start a charity and an application checklist.