On this page are examples of charitable purpose clauses that can be used as a guide when you are required to write down the purpose of your charity.

Having a purpose similar to these examples does not mean that your organisation will be able to be registered as a charity. A charity must meet other requirements, for example, being not-for-profit and operating for the public benefit. Your charity’s activities must work towards achieving its purpose.

Who are these examples for?

These examples of charitable purposes may assist you if your organisation:

  • wants to register as a charity with the ACNC for the first time, or
  • is a registered charity that is changing its activities, object or mission and needs to amend its governing document to reflect this.

What is a charitable purpose?

A charitable purpose (also called a mission or object) is the reason a charity has been set up and what its activities work towards achieving.

All charities registered with the ACNC must have a charitable purpose. This purpose is usually set out in the charity’s governing document. A charity may have one charitable purpose, or it may have more than one charitable purpose.

The purpose clause in a charity’s governing document must reflect the charity’s activities. It helps the people running the charity and others (such as volunteers, donors and government agencies) to understand why the charity does what it does.

There are 12 charitable purposes set out in the Charities Act 2013 (Cth) (section 12(1)). These are the purposes of:

  • advancing health, education, religion, culture or social or public welfare
  • promoting or protecting human rights, and
  • other purposes beneficial to the public.

These 12 purposes are reflected in the examples.

The ACNC registers every charity with a ‘subtype’ that reflects its charitable purpose.

Example clause 1

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance health by raising money to purchase diagnostic and treatment equipment for hospitals and medical centres.

Example clause 2

The organisation is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance health by providing training for medical professionals regarding the diagnosis, treatment and management of [_____illness or disease___].

Example clause 3

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance health by undertaking any of the following activities:

  • establishing and operating public medical centres for the diagnosis, treatment and management of illnesses and diseases
  • providing community health services focused on the needs of the community, such as mobile screening for diseases and symptoms of diseases
  • providing patient transport services to and from public medical centres where necessary to enable patients to access healthcare
  • undertaking research into the causes, diagnosis, treatment and/or management of illnesses and publishing the results of that research, and
  • providing training for medical professionals regarding the most recent developments in best practice for diagnosing, treating and/or managing illness.

Example clause 4

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance health by:

  • providing screening services for the early identification of conditions that may lead to lifestyle diseases, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes
  • providing advice on nutrition and exercise for people who suffer from, or who are at risk of suffering from, a lifestyle disease
  • referring people who are suffering from lifestyle diseases to appropriate medical professionals for treatment, if necessary.

Example clause 5

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance health by carrying out and publishing the results of independent research into the effectiveness of different treatments for [___illness or disease______].

Example clause 6

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance health and advance social and public welfare by providing free health checks to people who cannot afford to pay for a health check due to poverty.

Example clause 7

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance health by:

  • operating a hospital that is open to the public for the diagnosis and treatment of injuries, illnesses, diseases, and other health conditions
  • providing training to medical professionals employed at the hospital to ensure that they have the highest level of skill when carrying out their duties, and
  • providing services that are necessary for effective diagnosis and treatment, such as pathology services.

Example clause 8

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance health by:

  • providing education seminars to young people regarding sexual health, and the risks of, protection from, and treatment for sexually transmitted infections
  • running a free clinic for young people who are concerned about their sexual health, in order to provide treatment of any sexually transmitted infections, and to ensure that they are fully informed when making choices relevant to their sexual and reproductive health, and
  • referring clinic patients to other medical practitioners when necessary.

Example clause 1

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance education by operating a pre-school.

Example clause 2

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance education by operating a primary school.

Example clause 3

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance education by operating a secondary school.

Example clause 4

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance education by operating a tertiary training institution.

Example clause 5

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance education by providing a library that is open to the public in the [____location_____] area.

Example clause 6

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance education and culture by operating a public museum regarding the history of the [___location___] area.

Example clause 7

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance education by operating a museum which is open to the community regarding the development and history of [____subject matter____].

Example clause 8

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance education by undertaking any of the following activities:

  • establishing and operating primary schools
  • establishing and operating secondary schools
  • establishing and operating tertiary institutions, and
  • together with one of the activities above, providing activities and programs commonly provided by such organisations to enhance the educational experiences of the children and young persons who attend them.

Example clause 9

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance education by providing life-skills training to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Example clause 10

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance education by establishing a scholarship for the best student in the subject of [_____subject______] at/in [____school/location___].

Example clause 11

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance education by providing a yearly prize for the best student in the subject of [_____subject_____] at/in [______school/location____].

Example clause 12

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance education by providing scholarships for young people to study at [_____school or educational institution__________].

Example clause 13

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance education and relieve poverty by providing scholarships for young people who are from financially disadvantaged backgrounds to study at [______school or educational institution____].

Example clause 14

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to run a parents’ and citizens’ association at [________school______] to:

  • ensure the students at the school obtain the best standard of education possible
  • run fundraising events to raise money for the school to provide extra-curricular activities for its students
  • provide a link between school staff and parents and other members of the school community, in order to enhance educational outcomes, and
  • other activities to enhance the educational outcomes of students.

Example clause 1

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to relieve poverty by operating a soup kitchen for homeless people in Australia, particularly in the [___location____] area.

Example clause 2

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance social and public welfare by undertaking activities such as:

  • establishing and operating child-care centres to provide for care of school-aged children before and after school hours, and
  • establishing and operating child-care centres for children who are too young to attend school.

Example clause 3

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to relieve poverty by undertaking any of the following activities:

  • operating a night hostel for homeless people so that they don’t have to sleep on the street
  • providing parcels of food and other essential grocery items to homeless people and others who cannot afford to buy basic food and groceries for themselves, and
  • providing clothing to people who are homeless and others who cannot afford to buy clothing for themselves.

Example clause 4

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to relieve poverty by providing funding for disadvantaged young people to obtain an education in Australian primary school, secondary school or tertiary educational institution.

Example clause 5

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance social or public welfare by providing:

  • a free service to assist people with a physical or mental disability to be able to participate in work, and
  • assistance to people with a physical or mental disability to travel to or from their place of employment, if they have difficulties travelling to their place of employment themselves due to their disability.

Example clause 6

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance social or public welfare by:

  • providing care to people with a physical or mental disability who require continuous care
  • providing respite care to people with a physical or mental disability who generally are cared for continuously by a family member , and
  • arranging opportunities for people with a physical or mental disability to interact with other people and have the same life experiences as people who do not have a physical or mental disability.

Example clause 7

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance social or public welfare by:

  • operating residential care facilities for elderly people who are unable to care for themselves;
  • providing activities to the residents in the residential care facilities to promote their physical and mental health, and
  • providing access to medical care for residents in the residential care facilities.

Example clause 8

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance social or public welfare by providing:

  • money and goods to people who have lost their homes due to bushfires or other disasters, to ensure that they can have a modest standard of living while they are recovering from losing their home, and
  • temporary accommodation to people who have suffered the loss of their homes due to bushfires or other disasters, to assist in relieving their immediate distress and needs due to their loss.

Example clause 1

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance Buddhism by:

  • leading a congregation for worship and other traditional religious activities
  • providing Buddhist teachings to people who are interested, so that they may practice Buddhism
  • practicing and teaching the practice of meditation, and
  • undertaking other activities that are consistent with promoting the Buddhist religion, including supporting Buddhist monks and nuns.

Example clause 2

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance religion by:

  • spreading the teachings of Islam
  • establishing Islamic places of worship
  • establishing educational facilities for the teaching of Islam, and
  • observing and celebrating all major events in the Islamic calendar.

Example clause 3

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance Judaism by:

  • providing a synagogue for religious services
  • conducting Jewish religious services and cultural services and activities, and
  • providing instruction on the Jewish religion.

Example clause 4

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance Hinduism by:

  • spreading Sanatan culture and Sanatan religious scriptures
  • encouraging observance and celebration of Hindu festivals, and
  • establishing institutions where religious activities may be performed.

Example clause 5

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance the Christian religion by:

  • establishing and operating a church
  • offering regular masses and other opportunities for public worship at the church
  • undertaking religious ceremonies such as baptisms, weddings and funerals at the church, and
  • providing religious education, such as Sunday school programs.

Example clause 6

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance education and religion by undertaking any of the following activities:

  • establishing and operating Christian primary schools
  • establishing and operating Christian secondary schools
  • establishing and operating Christian tertiary institutions
  • together with one of the activities above, providing activities and programs commonly provided by such organisations to enhance the educational experiences of the children and young persons who attend them, and
  • providing instruction in the Christian faith to students who attend non-Christian schools.

Example clause 7

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance religion by:

  • nurturing the spiritual development of members by holding meetings for corporate worship
  • providing information regarding spiritual beliefs and the activities of the organisation to members and the general public
  • providing pastoral care to members to nurture their spiritual development, and
  • undertaking other activities consistent with the above.

Example clause 8

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance religion by providing classes to educate children on the Christian religion and its beliefs in schools where there is no formal religious education.

Example clause 1

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance culture by keeping items that are significant to Australian popular culture and holding exhibitions of the items for the public.

Example clause 2

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance the culture of the [______________] people by:

  • providing for instruction and participation in [_____________] art and craft
  • providing for instruction and the opportunity to converse in the [___________] language
  • providing for the observance of [___________] customs, festivals and ceremonies
  • obtaining recognition of title over ancestral lands, and
  • undertaking cultural responsibilities in respect of ancestral lands.

Example clause 3

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance culture by:

  • operating, displaying and exhibiting items of historical significance to railway travel and associated memorabilia
  • repairing, refurbishing or restoring any items of historical significance to railway travel, in order to ensure they remain in good condition for future generations, and
  • undertaking talks, discussions and seminars on the history of railway travel in Australia.

Example clause 4

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance culture by:

  • establishing and operating groups where parents can take their pre-school children in order to promote an awareness of and appreciation for music and rhythm, and
  • providing the opportunity for pre-school children to express themselves musically through singing and appropriate musical instruments.

Example clause 5

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance culture by:

  • recording and cataloguing the history of the [___location___] region
  • collecting, preserving, and exhibiting items of historical significance to the [___location____] region for the benefit of the community
  • supporting the restoration and maintenance of buildings of historical significance to [___location___] region for the benefit of the community
  • fostering public awareness of and interest in the history of the [___location___] region.

Example clause 6

The [organisation] is established to be a charity whose purpose is to advance culture by:

  • funding the public performance of works of modern dance choreographed by young Australian choreographers
  • providing scholarships for young Australian choreographers to attend advanced training in modern dance, and
  • funding workshops so that young Australian choreographers are able to share their knowledge of modern dance with the community.

Example clause 1

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with the purpose of promoting mutual respect and tolerance between groups of people in Australia by actively countering racism and bringing widespread understanding and tolerance among all sectors of the community.

Example clause 2

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with the purpose of promoting respect and tolerance for and social inclusion of people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered so that they can fully participate in all aspects of life in Australia without fear of discrimination.

Example clause 3

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with the purpose of promoting mutual respect and tolerance between groups of people in Australia by fostering:

  • co-operation and communication between different ethnic groups of Muslims through newsletters, cultural events and the celebration of festivals, and
  • contact and co-operation amongst Muslims and other groups and communities in Australia, particularly in [___location____].

Example clause 4

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with the purpose of promoting reconciliation, mutual respect and tolerance between Australians, particularly in the [___location____] community by:

  • recognising the ___________ people as the traditional owners of the land which is now home to the ________________ community
  • celebrating the culture of the ________________ people as an integral part of the culture of the _______ community
  • ensuring that local areas of importance to the _________ people are respected and that the history of those areas is preserved and promoted in the form of public education displays.

Example clause 5

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with the purpose of promotion mutual respect and tolerance between all groups of people in Australia by:

  • educating the public about the importance and benefits of our multicultural community
  • holding an annual multicultural festival so that all people have the opportunity to share their culture with others in the community, and
  • ensuring that local government is aware of and able to provide culturally-appropriate facilities and services for all people in the community, to ensure that all members of the community feel included.

Example clause 1

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights by:

  • raising public awareness regarding the importance of ending racial discrimination in all of its forms in accordance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
  • educating the public regarding the importance of ending racial discrimination in all of its forms in accordance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination through talks, discussion groups, the publication of papers and articles and any other legal means, and
  • ensuring that the Australian government complies with its obligations arising from the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination by raising public awareness and stimulating public debate regarding any perceived failure in complying with these obligations.

Example clause 2

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights by:

  • monitoring the Australian government’s actions to ensure that it abides by its obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • monitoring the Australian government’s actions to ensure that it abides by its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and
  • ensuring that the Australian public is made aware of any government breaches of its obligations under the two covenants set out above, through education campaigns, publications or any other legal means.

Example clause 3

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights by acting as an advocate for people with disabilities in relation to their rights under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Example clause 4

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights by:

  • ensuring that the public is aware of the Australian government’s obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and
  • ensuring that any breaches of the Australian government’s obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child are publicised, to stimulate public support for action to ensure that any breaches are remedied.

Example clause 5

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights by:

  • monitoring government policy and the passage of legislation to ensure that it complies with Australia’s obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and
  • providing public education about the importance of ensuring that Australia complies with its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Example clause 6

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights by:

  • monitoring government policy and the passage of legislation to ensure that Australia complies with its obligations under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and
  • publicising any breaches of Australia’s obligations in respect of the Convention to ensure that the Australian public is aware of and able to take action in respect of any breaches.

Example clause 1

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with a purpose of enhancing the natural environment of Australia by promoting sustainability and sustainable development and use of resources.

Example clause 2

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with a purpose of enhancing the natural environment of Australia by promoting the planting of indigenous Australian tree and plant species in appropriate locations.

Example clause 3

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with a purpose of enhancing the natural environment of Australia by undertaking projects to improve the cleanliness of rivers, lakes and man-made waterways which contribute water to rivers and lakes, in order to protect the habitat of native fish species and other species that rely on Australia’s waterways.

Example clause 4

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with a purpose of enhancing the natural environment by undertaking projects to protect rainforest in Australia and overseas.

Example clause 5

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with a purpose of enhancing the natural environment by providing a rescue and rehabilitation programme for orphaned or injured native animals, including:

  • marsupials, such as possums, kangaroos and wallabies
  • other mammals such as bats, wombats, echidnas, platypus and koalas
  • birds such as cockatoos, lorikeets, kookaburras and emus, and
  • reptiles such as skinks, geckoes, turtles and snakes.

Example clause 6

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with a purpose of enhancing the natural environment by eradicating noxious weeds from public spaces.

Example clause 7

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with a purpose of enhancing the natural environment by re-establishing the natural habitats of native animals in public spaces.

Example clause 8

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with a purpose of enhancing the natural environment by:

  • promoting the practice of recycling unwanted goods and scrap material, and
  • providing recycling stations in accessible areas.

Example clause 9

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with a purpose of enhancing the natural environment by promoting:

  • biodiversity through re-introducing indigenous plant and tree species to areas in which they are no longer found or are no longer abundant, and
  • the planting of indigenous plant and tree species in private gardens in the areas in which they were abundant prior to human development.

Example clause 10

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with a purpose of enhancing the natural environment by:

  • creating a nature reserve and native animal sanctuary at the land known as [_____description_______] in [______location______] (the land);
  • re-establishing native bush and plant species on the land
  • eradicating non-native bush and plant species from the land which are noxious and/or create an environment that is hostile to the re-establishment of native bush and plant species
  • eradicating non-native predatory animals from the land and erecting a predator-proof fence to prevent predators from becoming re-established on the land
  • establishing appropriate habitats to encourage animals that are indigenous to the land to establish populations on the land, and
  • providing ways for members of the public to visit the land and learn about conservation and the importance of protecting indigenous plants and animals for future generations.

Example clause 1

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with the purpose of enhancing the [___location___] area by building a public monument and providing for its ongoing maintenance.

Example clause 2

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with the purpose of advancing the [___industry___] in Australia, particularly in [___location___] by:

  • conducting and publishing research into improvements to the processes used in the industry
  • working with government at all levels to ensure that the interests of the [___industry___] industry are represented in regard to the public decision-making process, and
  • providing a forum for all people engaged in the [___industry___] to discuss best practice and enhancing the future of the industry.

Example clause 3

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with the purpose of advancing agriculture by holding an annual agricultural show to promote the value of agriculture to the community

Example clause 4

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with the purpose of supporting the effectiveness of charities that advance health by:

  • managing a trust fund and distributing any income from the fund to charities which have a purpose of advancing health, and
  • holding fundraising events to raise money to be added to the capital of the trust fund.

Example clause 1

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with the purpose of promoting public debate regarding education law and policy in Australia, to ensure that Australia adopts a public school system that provides for the best possible education for all young Australians.

Example clause 2

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with the purpose of protecting the current law regarding the protection of refugees and opposing any change to the law that would erode refugees’ current rights.

Example clause 3

The [organisation] is established to be a charity with the purpose of promoting change in the law and policy on how Australia’s foreign aid is delivered by:

  • undertaking and publishing research into the most effective models for foreign aid delivery;
  • promoting public debate regarding how foreign aid should be delivered, and
  • advocating for foreign aid to be directed primarily towards relieving the poverty of underprivileged people in other countries.