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The Australian Charities Report 2013 is Curtin University Not-for-profit Initiative’s research report on charities registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). This research analysed data from more than 38,000 registered charities, which submitted through their Annual Information Statements (up until 30 June 2014) in their first year of reporting to the ACNC.


This analysis provides the first single-source, evidence-based research of the charity sector of its kind. The research also revealed wide-ranging findings.

Charitable activities

  • Charities undertook a broad range of activities in 2012-13, ranging from religious, community development and research activities to emergency relief, animal protection and international pursuits
  • Religious activities were the main the activity for more 25 per cent of charities, followed by primary and secondary education for 6 per cent of charities
  • Nearly 70 per cent of charities worked in one or more areas in addition to their main charitable activity

How the reporting burden is experienced

  • 10 per cent of charities experience about 80 per cent of the total administrative burden

Employment of staff and volunteers

  • 10 per cent of charities accounted for 90 per cent of full time jobs and nearly $90 billion of income in the sector.
  • 75 per cent of small charities do not employ full time staff
  • The peak number of volunteers employed by organisations is between five and 19
  • Nearly 1 million people are employed across the sector