The ACNC regulates charities under the ACNC Act by:

  • registering charities
  • collecting information about charities and maintaining the ACNC Charity Register
  • reducing red tape for charities by working with other agencies to reduce unnecessary or duplicative administrative requirements
  • providing guidance, education and advice to help charities meet their legal obligations
  • monitoring charity compliance and managing non-compliance

We are alerted to concerns about charities from the public, from referrals from other agencies (including agencies of states and territories) and through regular reporting by charities to us.

Understanding charities is at the foundation of our approach to charity regulation – we recognise that the purpose of charities is to benefit the public, and that their contribution to our society is vital.

We use our regulatory powers in a way that reflects both the risks and the evidence before us. In exercising our powers and functions, we have regard to the regulatory principles of regulatory necessity, reflecting risk, and proportionate regulation.

When we look into a charity’s conduct we carry out a compliance review or an investigation. This may result in the ACNC providing regulatory advice to the charity, recommending the charity take certain steps (like providing additional reports) or referring the matter to another agency. We may also decide to use our formal powers (such as giving a direction or revoking registration). If we use our formal powers we publish this on the ACNC Charity Register, on the charity’s page.

In addition to looking at individual charities, the ACNC also looks at broader trends to identify key risks and areas of concern for charities and the sector.

Our regulatory approach statement explains in more detail how we approach our role as the national charity regulator