ACNC Commissioner, the Hon. Dr Gary Johns
On Monday, we launched the new and improved ACNC website! I would like to start this week by thanking everyone for their patience over the weekend, as we updated the website and trained our staff. The new and improved ACNC website, Charity Register and Portal are designed to be faster, more reliable and more accessible for all.

The new website’s features include:

  • A fresh new design, including information and resources for both charities and members of the public
  • A more responsive site with reduced load times
  • Improved speed and functionality of the ACNC Charity Portal
  • A revitalised Charity Register, featuring easy-to-understand information about Australia’s 56,000 charities.

Thank you to the fantastic staff across the ACNC who have worked day and night on this large-scale improvement project over the last year. I am thrilled with the result and hope that charities and the public alike will find great benefit in the information and support provided by the refreshed ACNC website, Charity Register and Charity Portal.

Logging in to the new Charity Portal

The way to access the Charity Portal has changed, your old username and password will no longer work. Before you can log into the Charity Portal, you will need to get your password.

We have instructions on how to get your new password at acnc.gov.au/charityportal; however, I would recommend that charities and their representatives wait until mid-next week before attempting to access the Charity Portal. We have had reports of system issues that are stopping users from accessing the records of their charities. We are working to resolve this issue as fast as we can.

And there is no need to worry, I have extended the due date for the 2018 Annual Information Statement from 31 December 2018, to 31 March 2019. So, you have plenty of time to log into the new Charity Portal and submit.

As a subscriber to my column you will be kept up to date regarding any further developments. We will also be emailing every charity instructions on how to get their new password.

If you urgently need assistance with logging into the Charity Portal you can contact our Advice Services team. The details are published at acnc.gov.au/contact.

As you can appreciate, due to the changes to our systems, we are currently experiencing a high volume of calls. Thank you for your patience and we apologise for the delays.

RMIT University undertaking charity sector research

A large research project is currently underway on the topic of mergers and amalgamations in the charity sector – designed to provide a sector-wide understanding of resource sharing arrangements and restructuring options undertaken by Australian charities.

This project is being conducted by senior researchers from RMIT University, the University of Western Australia, and Queensland University of Technology.

If you are a CEO or senior member of the governance team of an Australian charity, I encourage you to complete the 20-minute survey before Wednesday 31 October.

The results from this research will offer insights into the restructures taking place in the Australian charity sector, their drivers and outcomes, and the lessons that can be learnt for all charities.

For more information or to complete the survey, visit the RMIT University website.

Charity status revoked following ACNC investigation

The ACNC has revoked the charity status of Stroke Check Limited (ABN: 88613070072) following a compliance investigation.

The organisation was endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office to access Commonwealth charity tax concessions including Goods and services tax (GST) concessions, and was also endorsed as a deductible gift recipient (DGR).

This charity has now lost access to these Commonwealth charity tax concessions.

We are prevented from disclosing further details due to secrecy provisions in the ACNC Act. However, we publish instances where we use our formal powers, including revocation, on the ACNC Charity Register and at acnc.gov.au/compliancedecisions.

Every month we receive around 100 concerns about charities, many of which are submitted by members of the public. If you have concerns about a registered charity, you can let us know at acnc.gov.au/charityconcern.

Learn more about fundraising in the next ACNC webinar

The ACNC’s next free webinar on Tuesday 23 October discusses fundraising and charities, and what constitutes good practice for charities conducting fundraising activities.

Join us to learn more about responsible fundraising, and how to ensure your charity meets the requirements of the ACNC Governance Standards when conducting fundraising activities.

Sign up now at acnc.gov.au/webinars to attend this free webinar, or to access previous presentations.

Charity Fraud Awareness Week – 22 to 26 October

Next week marks the start of Charity Fraud Awareness Week 2018, an international initiative to raise awareness about fraud in the charity sector, and share best practice solutions in tackling fraud and financial crime.

Coordinated by the Charity Commission of England and Wales, the project will bring together the expertise and advice from more than 40 regulators, peak bodies and charities around the world to provide information about common types of charity fraud, how to protect your charity and what to do if you suspect fraudulent behaviour.

Keep an eye on the ACNC’s social media channels and website next week as we share tools, resources and information relating to charity fraud.

Best wishes,

The Hon Dr Gary Johns