Matt Crichton:

Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s Webinar, the ACNCs Webinar for June, which is, as you can see on the screen, about the Australian Charities Report. We’ll have a look through some of the details of it and field some questions. My name is Matt Crichton, I’m from the ACNCs education team. And joining me to talk about this fascinating report today is Tim Liu, who is from the ACNCs reporting team and had a large hand in much of what became the final report. Hello Tim.

Tim Liu:

Hi everyone.

Matt:

OK, before we do get into the presentation itself, I’ll just run through a few admin things that we need to let you know about first. If you’re having trouble with some audio during the Webinar, another option you have is to dial into the Webinar. And you do that using the phone number that you would have received in an email, that would have been in an email that you received upon registering for this Webinar. So if you can track that email, there’s an option to dial a phone number and then you’ll be able to hear the audio over your phone instead of your computer, whatever device you’re using. As we go through, feel free to ask questions. You can use the go-to Webinar navigation panel there to ask some questions. We’ve got a couple of colleagues standing by to ask all the questions that you’ve got ready to go. That’s Chris and Bree. So they’ll be typing frantically to answer all your questions. If you wanted to hold off until the presentation was finished, we do have some time at the end for a quick Q and A sessions. So if you wanted to see what we have to say first and then ask a question, that’s perfectly fine, too. We’ll try to get around to everyone’s questions at that part of the Webinar.

Also, if you miss out on asking something, you remember later on that there was something you wanted to ask about, feel free to send us an email, we’re happy to, you know, field those questions later on as well. And just on emails, we will, we are recording this Webinar and it will be published on the ACNCs website and when that is, we’ll send a follow-up email to everyone who registered to let you know that it’s there and that follow-up email will contain a bunch of links and some other resources that we made reference to in the Webinar. So no need to, you know, frantically jot down notes. You’ll receive all of this in a follow-up email later.

OK, let’s move on. What we’ll cover today. We’re going to have a look at the Australian charities report. We’ll have a look at just what it is and what we, where it comes from. We’ll look at some of the select highlights from this most recent report. We’ll go over some of the key statistics. And we’ll just talk about some of the other information about Australian charities, Australia’s charities sector that we, that the report covered. So about the charities report, we do publish the Australian Charities Report every year. The first one came out in 2013 and as we produce more often, we’re providing more data and statistics back to the sector through what we learn in the research. It’s a comprehensive record of the charity sector. And it provides some new insights and it shows the changing nature of Australia’s charities. Tim, you did a lot of work on the research here, can you let people know where the data comes from that produces this Australian Charities Report each year?

Tim:

Yeah, so each year charities are required to submit an annual information statement to the ACNC. And that’s what we’ve used in completing this report. So we used actually over 47,000 annual information submissions. Obviously, there’s a cut-off date to do any research so we had to stop at a certain point in time, but we analysed the data in February this year.

Matt:

And the name of the report… actually, if we just go back a slide. No, it’s not on there. But the name of the report, this most recent one is called Australian Charities Report 2017, which I suppose initially sounds somewhat dated. But the reason it’s called 2017 is, and if I’m wrong Tim, you can jump in and correct me, that this is the data collected from the 2017 annual information statements?

Tim:

Yeah.

Matt:

OK. So even though it’s coming out in 2019 and it is the most recent look at the charity sector, it’s named the 2017 one because of the annual information statements that were analysed to produce the data. The report itself, is a resource to help not only charities but donors, governments, researchers, and even the public better understand Australia’s charity sector. If you wanted to have a look at previous year’s reports, too, they are all on the ACNC website. We’ve got a link down there at the bottom. It’s a bit of a long one, we’ll include this in the follow-up email so you can have a look at that later. But if you want to have a look now, you can go to /tools/topic-guides/australian-charities-report and you’ll find all of them there. Tim, also, it’s not just a report in the sense of a physical, you know, PDF that you can download or browse over on the website, there is… the data that you use to come up with your report is available for people to have a look at themselves?

Tim:

Yeah. So what we’ve produced, and we also produced last year’s, what we call a data cube. So what that contains is annual information statement data that you, yourself, can go in and filter as you wish based off any variable that you want. So you could filter based off state, the main activity, the main beneficiary to actually drill down into anything that you’re looking for.

Matt:

And as Tim said, we’ve had this for a couple of years now. So this year is no different, it builds on the work of previous years. And I thought it might be useful now if we just take a quick look at what this looks like. It may be a bit more salient than our broader descriptions. So I’ll just take you out of the presentation. Let’s have a quick look at… I’ve got this on the screen at the moment. So the URL here at acnc.gov.au/charitydata will bring you to this page. And if you just scroll down you can see here, this is what Tim was referring to when he said the data cube. It’s a little section on this page of the website that contains lots of categories and stats based on a whole bunch of different fields and variable data. So if you wanted to have a play around with this, you can. You can have a look at stats by location, size and activities, finances. You can even filter all of these major categories into smaller categories of size, state, urban, regional as you can see down here on the righthand side.

So as Tim said, it is free for you to explore. Go into this part of the website, and as you can see here, I’ve just clicked on finances as example and that brings up some more stats that you can have a look at. And you can even filter some of this down. So if you wanted to know just what this looks like in Queensland, you can filter the data and have a look at the states there. So sometimes the extent to which you can play around with the data doesn’t quite come across in just an off the cuff sentence about the data being available to explore. I think if you have a look at this and you can see what’s possible and what you can have a look at it resonates a little bit more. So if you get some time to have a look at that, it really is worth, worth the effort.

Tim:

And some of you with a keen eye might notice that the number of charities in the date cube is less than the number of charities we analysed in the report. And that’s basically because of the ACNCs withholding rules. So if a charity has information withheld from the public register it won’t show in this data cube.

Matt:

OK. So that explains the number of charities there in the overview being 44,591 whereas the home page of the ACNC website we’ve said a different number, and that’s the total number of registered charities.

Tim:

Yeah.

Matt:

OK. Let’s just jump back into our presentation. Let’s go over some of the details now. Tim, let’s start with size. What did the research find about ACNC or charity, sizes of charities registered with the ACNC?

Tim:

Yeah, so the ACNC has three sizes. So we have small, medium, and large charities. So small charities have revenue less than $250,000. Medium have a revenue between $250,000 and less than $1,000,000. And large charities have revenue over $1,000,000. So what we’ve found is consistent with previous years is that about two thirds of charities are small, which isn’t surprising. A lot of charities, as you would know, are volunteer-based and are simple, small operations from a local community.

Matt:

But within small, because that cut-off is at $250,000, there are some organisation that would dream of that sort of funding. So small, as the bottom stat here on the screen shows, is broken down even further.

Tim:

Yeah, definitely. So what we’ve done is just break down some of the revenue into even more granular details. So about a third of charities are extra small, which probably won’t surprise a lot of you listening there. On the other end, what we’ve found is that there’s very small numbers of charities with a lot of revenue. So what we’ve done in the report is talk about extra large charities. So these are charities with revenue over $1,000,000. And just 0.4% of charities fit into this criteria.

Matt:

Right, so for… I suppose the snapshot is that the overwhelming majority of charities registered with the ACNC are small, under $250,000, and within that there’s quite a significant proportion that are extra small and only operate on a really, really small amount of money.

Tim:

Definitely.

Matt:

What did the research find about activities? We know that the charity sector is very broad and diverse, catches a lot of different types of organisations, what did the statement, the annual information statements show us about the activities in the sector?

Tim:

Yeah, so as you can see on the screen, nearly a third of main activities were religious in nature, which may not surprise you all. Something that may surprise you is the least common activity reported by charities was in law and legal services.

Matt:

OK. So the… just touching on the religious one for a moment, that’s quite a large percentage above the rest. Is there any reason why it would be such a major, it would, you know, come across as such a major percentage of activities?

Tim:

It probably won’t surprise some of the people listening, but this does depend on a charity’s purpose. And a lot of charities in Australia are organisation to advance religion. And we know that there’s at least 15,000 registered charities that are churches in Australia. So in that context, it’s probably not too surprising. As you can see from the second and third, education’s the second most common main activity.

Matt:

Beneficiaries, too, comes up in the annual information statements and it gives us an insight into the types of people or groups of people that charities are set up to help. What did the research for the 2017 annual information statements show us about beneficiaries?

Tim:

Yeah, so probably not surprising about half, 48% of charities selected the general community in Australia as the main beneficiary. What that means is generally, it’s a charity that doesn’t target specific groups. It’s services are available to a broad range of people.

Matt:

OK. So rather than say a particular organisation that may be set up for, just an example off the top of my head, for, you know, people that have significant illnesses or particular disabilities, the general community in Australia is organisations that just have services that anyone can access for, you know, providing that they meet a certain criteria of it, not for a particular class of people?

Tim:

Yeah, generally I mean a good example of that would be a local church. They’re not going to push anyone away, they’re open to the general public to come and attend their services.

Matt:

Right. And beyond this, there are a number of charities that do stipulate specific beneficiaries in their annual information statements. What were the most common that we found in the research?

Tim:

Yeah, so 10% said their main beneficiary are children who are aged six and 15. It’s probably not surprising if you think about registered charities, a lot of them are childcare providers, they’re schools, they target that demographic. There’s also about 3% of charities that select those who are aged as their main beneficiary. And again, that’s not too surprising as there’s a few aged care charities that are registered with the ACNC.

Matt:

I think it’s worth mentioning here that, whilst you’re right, it might not be surprising to a lot of people, it may be surprising to those that don’t realise how many of these organisations are actually registered as charities. So we often don’t think of a childcare provider or a school or a hospital as being a charity in the traditional sense. But the nature of the work, it having a charitable purpose, and many cases them being not-for-profit, means that they do classify as a charity. So that may, that may be an explanation as to why some of these stats don’t match up with some people’s, I suppose, traditional view of what a charity typically is.

Tim:

Definitely, Matt.

Matt:

International activities though is probably something that many people do associate with charities in the traditional sense. Like working overseas to help people in under-privileged areas or even war-torn countries is a common activity. What did the research find from the 2017 annual information statement about operations overseas?

Tim:

Yeah, so about 10% of charities reported that they operate overseas in at least one overseas country. This can range from charities to actually physical activities overseas to those who are just simply sending money overseas. So a good example might be a charity that helps to fund some international aid versus a charity that has on-the-ground staff to provide that aid.

Matt:

OK, right. I think that’s actually an important point, a pretty important distinction that this is not restricted to say the bigger ones that do have that physical presence in a country overseas. It can be as remote as just helping to fund something through donations.

Tim:

Yeah, yeah. Definitely.

Matt:

I suppose in that sense, the number 4,567 may be surprising to people in that it often the forms of what a charity traditionally is, particularly operating overseas. It might be surprising that the number is so low. I think a lot of people might expect this number to be a little bit higher.

Tim:

Yeah, I mean it does depend on what you think. But for example, you wouldn’t expect an aged care provider or a hospital to operate overseas. But a lot of churches do provide some aid of sorts to people overseas and that’s definitely represented in the statistics there.

Matt:

Of the international activities, we’ll just move on now and just have a look at the most common countries that were reported in the 2017 annual information statement. Tim, I’ll let you talk through this one. There’s probably some surprises and not so much surprises on this slide.

Tim:

I don’t think people will be surprised by the Philippines, Papa New Guinea, Indonesia. They might be surprised by India. But definitely surprised with New Zealand. And obviously that’s because they’re a separate country and there are a range of charities that operate across the Tasman in both Australia and New Zealand. So we suspect that’s probably the reason why New Zealand’s in the top five.

Matt:

OK, so this reflects what was reported by charities as countries in which they operate. And when you say operate as being fairly broad, so if you are a charity that has some collaboration with say an office or a branch in New Zealand, that would be listed as operating in New Zealand, but of course that’s a very different form of operation than say having people on the ground in PNG doing some charity work.

Tim:

Yeah, correct, Matt.

Matt:

And I suppose the proximity to Australia is reflected there, too, with Philippines, PNG, and Indonesia being the most common countries for international operations more so than places further away. The report also does touch on charity location. What did you find in analysing the 2017 annual information statements for where charities are based?

Tim:

Yeah. So this is based off the physical address that charities provided to us. So business address on the annual information statement. But similar to previous years, about 70% of charities operate in major cities. It is interesting to know that 0.8% operate in very remote areas. So these would be, you know, probably somewhere in WA or Northern Territory with not much infrastructure or you know support.

Matt:

Would some of these charities also have operations in more than one location? So even though they, their business address might be in a major city, some of the work that they do could be in any of the other categories, too, regional or remote or very remote?

Tim:

Definitely. I mean, this is just looking at where the business address is but not where charities operate within Australia.

Matt:

OK, right. So in that sense it’s probably not surprising that major cities in the dominate one and maybe reflects sort of the population more broadly?

Tim:

Yeah, definitely. I think that’s a good summary.

Matt:

We often think of charities as operating with lots of volunteer work, maybe less so staff. What did the research find about volunteer numbers for this particular period?

Tim:

Yeah, so this is probably one of the statistics that jumped out at us is that volunteer numbers increased to 3,300,000 people in the 2017 annual information statement. A little bit of caution though in that this figure reflects the total volunteer numbers. And as those listening are aware, there’s a lot of people that volunteer for multiple charities or not-for-profits in Australia.

Matt:

So the 3,300,000, it wouldn’t be accurate to think that there are 3,300,000 individual, separate people that volunteer for registered charities?

Tim:

Yeah, that’s correct, Matt. There’s definitely some overlap there in that figure.

Matt:

And I suppose many of these… well, we know that this number wouldn’t necessarily include the volunteer work that goes on in the broad not-for-profit sector, which for organisations that aren’t necessarily registered as charities?

Tim:

No, definitely. I mean the volunteer numbers when you look at the not-for-profit sector would be a lot bigger, I suspect.

Matt:

OK. So even with those cautions, it does represent quite a slice of the Australian population broadly and suggests there is, there’s a fair bit of good will towards not-for-profits and charities in the community. How about staff, though? This is often a bit that I suppose could be misunderstood in the public consciousness, the idea that charities employ staff and in many cases quite a number of staff, even full-time staff, to undertake charitable work. What did the research find about the staff reported in the charity sector?

Tim:

Yeah, so staff overall numbers are pretty similar year on year compared to last year. So charities employ 1,260,000 staff, about 38% are full-time, 36% part-time, and 26% are casual. It’s interesting to note that as with previous years, about half the charities operate without paid staff. So going back to the extra small charities out there, you would expect them to be mostly volunteer based. And the larger ones would obviously be more likely to have full-time employees or any employees at all.

Matt:

So if we were to dig a little bit deeper into these stats, we would probably find that the lion’s share of that 38% sit within the larger charities, the ones that are smaller in number but of course account for a much larger percentage of the financial bite?

Tim:

Definitely, definitely. I think that’s a good summary, Matt.

Matt:

And it’s important to note here that staff are an important part of any charities’’ operations, particularly… well, it depends on what the charity is and what it does. But there are many charities that do work that really does require the professionalism of a paid staff member, if you think about all the hospitals and education facilities. And we could go on and on about sort of organisations that are registered as charities that obviously couldn’t operate on just volunteers alone. Charities are entitled to employ people and pay people to carry out their work. And I think that just gets at the I suppose common misconception that charities should only have volunteers or shouldn’t be able to employ staff to undertake the work. And that does bring us to some of the finances. So the annual information statements that charities submit do ask them to provide some financial information. It differs depending on the size of the charity. But we do receive that financial information and it gives us an insight, a picture of what the financial status of the sector is. What did the research find, Tim?

Tim:

Yeah, so just a quick skim through this, there’s more detail in the Charities Report itself. But the good news is that the sector’s total revenue increased by 3,300,000,000, which is quite significant year on year. And it’s the second year that the charity sector reported an increase.

Matt:

And this number, I think will surprise lots of people, particularly if you’re new to this report and this sort of research. But I think there will be a lot of people that wouldn’t have guessed $146,000,000,000 as the revenue of the charity sector. It sort of runs contrary to what many people think about with charities.

Tim:

Yeah, yeah, definitely. I mean, as you’ve pointed out, it’s the big ones that earn the big bucks and that’s represented in the figures there.

Matt:

You mentioned that there was an increase in on the previous year, but here we see a stat that says the expenses, the reported expenses through the annual information statements, show a decrease.

Tim:

Yeah, so that’s a bit interesting in the total expenses for the charity sector, which includes grants and donations made outside Australia or employee expenses among other expenses. So it’s actually slightly decreased year on year. What that means is that overall charities have made more of a net surplus than in previous years.

Matt:

And of course this is aggregate data, so while this gives us an insight into the sector as a whole, of course the stories of the individual charities may differ. And while the sector may have seen an increase in overall income and a decrease in expenses leading to potentially this surplus, I suppose the story may be different for individual charities and it all depends on what their individual circumstances are. It doesn’t mean that every single charity has made a surplus of course.

Tim:

Definitely not, Matt.

Matt:

It’s just an aggregate view of the sector as a whole to give as an insight into I suppose the sheer size of the sector, if nothing else. This is a breakdown of revenue sources. It may be a little bit tricky to see here, but as Tim said, the report itself is online, you can take a little bit more time to have a look at this graph if you like, and even explore the data as we showed you before. But this does give a little bit of an overview of where this money’s coming from. What did you find when analysing the statements?

Tim:

It probably won’t surprise people by now, but the larger charities are responsible for more of the sector’s overall revenue. So we earlier in this Webinar mentioned that if you see the second bottom row, our extra large charities only account for 0.4% of Australia’s registered charities. And if you look at their revenue figure, that’s nearly half of the sector’s revenue. So it does show how I guess top-heavy the big players are in the charity sector. As you… it probably won’t surprise you, government grants are, often account for a larger proportion for larger charities. And that’s the dark blue colour there. And donations are relatively minor compared to that. But for the extra small charities you can see that donations are a bigger portion of their revenue compared to others.

Matt:

Yeah, right. It’s funny because extra small and small only, this is fairly imprecise in the form, but the visual format it takes here, but you can see that extra small and small, and for that matter medium, reliance on donations and bequests is not too far removed from that… well, it’s actually probably larger for it than the extra large. So it shows that they’re really much more heavily reliant on donations and bequests than some of the extra large charities are, which yeah, take a lot of their revenue from government grants and even goods and services.

Tim:

Yeah, definitely.

Matt:

And if we have a look at some of these sources in more detail, we found, or Tim, I’ll let you explain that. What did we find with the government grants?

Tim:

Yeah, so a good example of how the sector’s diverse is that extra large charities, 92% of them received government grants or revenue from government. In comparison, only 14% of extra small charities receive this. So if you think about it, it probably isn’t surprising. So you think the extra large charities will be, for example, large hospitals, large universities, large schools. They definitely would receive money from government. But the extra small, more volunteer-driven ones, are probably unlikely to apply for government grants or receive any revenue from government.

Matt:

And I suppose if you are, if you have any familiarity with work in a charity that sits on the extra small end of the scale, this will sound very familiar to you.

Tim:

Yeah, I suspect so.

Matt:

And I think there’s a fair bit of competition for minimal funds available at that end of the spectrum.

Tim:

Yeah, definitely.

Matt:

Yeah. And I think it’s worth just reiterating that point that Tim just made, because it does frame this stat in a little bit more context I suppose, is that registered charities do cover a wide range of organisations right up to hospitals, universities, schools, and the ones that you would think of as maybe not ordinarily being charities in the traditional sense, but certainly having much more funds than some of the other smaller organisations. And this is interesting, too, just some other sources that we found, which will maybe surprise people, particularly the first one. Because I think many people think of charities being synonymous with donations than all their money coming from donations from the public. But that’s not the case.

Tim:

No, only two thirds of charities receive revenue from donations and bequests. And so, yeah, it does sort of represent I guess the change in perception. What is interesting is that in the 2017 annual information statement, we started collecting new foundation elements. So it was revenue from goods and services and revenue from investments. So we found roughly about half the charities receive revenue from goods and services. And about another half receive revenue from investments.

Matt:

We’ll just touch on this for a moment. Because I think goods and services is… while the first one, donations and bequests, is clear, many people associate that with charities, the next two are a little bit unclear I suppose. Not many people would associate charities with goods and services. Typically, what do we mean when we say goods and services?

Tim:

Yeah, I mean, you’re right, Matt. It’s probably a bit of a perception issue. But when we talk about goods or services, we’re looking at, for example, op shops, schools, they provide services to kids, which is essentially education, hospitals provide services to those in need. So that’s what we’re referring to when we talk about goods or services.

Matt:

OK, right. And then how about investments? That’s something, that’s a word that we’d more often associate in the business context. What do we… what are the sort of typical investments that a charity might have?

Tim:

Yeah, definitely. I mean some typical examples might be a charity that invests in shares. The reason it does that is to receive dividends so that it can, you know, fund more of it’s services. More common ones probably are bank interest. A lot of charities have money in the bank, they might have term deposits. And that’s what we refer to when we talk about revenue from investments.

Matt:

OK. That brings us to the end of the main presentation. As I said at the beginning, we do have some time for questions and answers. And we have had a few questions come through as we’ve gone along, so I thought it was worth taking the time to answer these publicly. Because I think some people will get something out of the questions and the answers. We did have someone ask a question touching on one of the very early points you made, Tim, about there being 47,000 or approximately 47,000 annual information statements analysed for this data, but there are 54,000 registered charities or maybe 55,000, up to about 57,000 I think. The point being, why aren’t all the charity’s annual information statements analysed for this data?

Tim:

Yeah, so even though there’s about 57,000 registered charities at the moment, about only 50/51,000 are actually required to submit the 2017 annual information statement. So we actually had a pretty good run. I mean, if you haven’t lodged your annual information statement and you’re a charity, please submit your 2017 one. But it’s a pretty good representation of where the sector’s at.

Matt:

So it’s quite a large percentage. So 47,000 or 59,000 that were required to submit were analysed for the report?

Tim:

Yeah, definitely. It’s above 90% and it’s pretty good to represent the sector’s diversity.

Matt:

And that’s largely due to the cut-off date. So at some point you have to draw a line and say, right, we need to start analysing the data now. So some are going to be late, some are unsubmitted, so they’re the ones that probably have fallen off in analysing the data?

Tim:

Definitely.

Matt:

We had a question about the, in previous… so a keen observer has noticed that in previous reports there was estimated data but not in this, not in this report. Can you explain what that means? So this report doesn’t use estimated data in the way that previous reports did.

Tim:

Yeah, so in previous charity reports, in particular the 2016 one, there was, what we found was an estimation of proxy data. So where an annual information statement wasn’t submitted, our researcher’s estimated what they perceived the revenue to be for that charity and a few other things. So we were taking the approach to just report based off what charities have submitted to us. And as I said, 47,000 is pretty high and because our report was published more recently than, or later than previous reports, we were able to use more annual information statements and not really need to estimate in that sense.

Matt:

OK. So there’s no reliance on extrapolation and trends this particular…?

Tim:

No, no.

Matt:

OK. A question about the DGRs. I suppose, for those who aren’t familiar, DGR is a common initialism which stands for deductable gift recipients, that’s a particular tax concession that some charities have, which allows them to… or allows donors to claim back the donation they make to the charity on their own personal income tax. And… so Tim, the question is about all charities having DGR and I suppose the point about donations and bequests is relevant here. So do all charities have DGR status and does that affect the donations and bequests stats?

Tim:

Yeah, so all charities would love to have DGR status, but unfortunately you need to meet certain criteria. And only about 39% of charities have that status. So that’s pretty consistent with previous years. It’s not surprising. A lot of the religious charities won’t have that DGR status and that probably accounts for why it’s 39%. But it is something that we are aware that charities are interested in and so yeah, it’s pretty similar to previous years.

Matt:

So the relevance of this I suppose is touching on another, maybe a broader misconception is that any donation to any organisation registered as a charity is automatically available to you to claim back on your own personal income tax. That’s not the case and it’s the stats and the reports show that in fact only 39% of charities do offer that ability for you to claim your donation back.

Tim:

Yeah.

Matt:

Less than half.

Tim:

Definitely, yeah. That’s a good point, Matt.

Matt:

Having a look at just a couple other questions that are coming through now. Oh, there’s one about the report itself, noting that it’s a little bit slimmer this year. Does that reflect a change in the research approach and research data or not? I suppose I can answer this. No, the research is the same. And the data cube that we showed you before on the website is again the same and it’s got updated data. In fact, there’s more included, that being 47,000 annual information statements analysed this time. The slimmer physical report is just a decision to make that a little bit more accessible and readable for people if they are to print off the report or get a hold of a physical report. Whereas, in previous years that physical report also included much of the tables and the stats that are in the data cube online. So this year, we thought, rather than taking up much of the physical printed report with many of the tables and stats that you can find online, we’d allow the physical report to be one that people can read and browse through and take information through an accessible format rather than having to go through too many stats. And they can use the online data cube to look at the stats themselves. So we thought it was a better way to present the physical report this year.

So the short answer to that is, it’s slimmer for cosmetic reasons, really. but the data itself is still there and still available to have a look at. OK. It looks as though we’ve probably covered most of the questions here. One last one, someone’s asked about the 2019 annual information statement, which is going to be available very soon. So I suppose we could jump back to the 2018, too. They’re asking if there’s anything different that we can expect in what charities have to report, which the knock-on effect of that would be that there will be different stats in the next few reports. Tim, have you got any insights there?

Tim:

Yeah. So the 2019 annual information statement will be available very soon. There’s not many changes to it. The only thing that we’re asking charities is if they’ve got a website to provide that to us. It’s an optional field and so what we’re just trying to do is improve the number of charities with their website on our register and help the sector get out there. So it’s pretty much the same as 2018, which will probably be a relief to many charities submitting it.

Matt:

And just on 2018, so we’ve just released earlier this year Australian Charities Report 2017, which is the report reporting on 2017 annual information statement. The report for the 2018 annual information statement is due, well we’re doing that again, and that will be due in the coming months or a bit longer.

Tim:

Yeah, we’re pencilling in by the end of March at the latest, and maybe February or March. But that’s when we want to publish the reports each year and get that data back out there to the sector.

Matt:

OK. So we look forward to the next update, the Australian Charities Report 2018. OK. I think that will bring us to the end of today’s Webinar. As I said at the beginning, if you’ve got some questions, send them through. Now we’ve still got Chris and Bree answering your questions via text as we speak. Otherwise, if you want to send us an email later you can do so. For more information about the Charities Report, you can have a look at it, as we show you, the dot point, the middle point here on the screen, explore the interactive data at acnc.gov.au/charitydata. You can see the report itself at acnc.gov.au/charityreport. And the top point here on the screen is the place that we publish datasets. Not restricted to just the Charities Report datasets, it’s data that is provided by charities and published on the charity register, is available for download at data.gov.au.

Tim:

Yeah. So there’s basically just numerous datasets in an Excel spreadsheet. And that Excel spreadsheet will contain all of the data. So for example, there is an Excel spreadsheet for all 2017 annual information statements, and that you can go in and manipulate on Excel as you see fit.

Matt:

So that’s all of the data there for you to explore. And just more broadly, if you want to stay in touch with us, have a look at our Commissioners Column and email updates on the website as well as web guidance on various topics, video content, podcasts, and whatnot. For all our Webinars, go to acnc.gov.au/webinars. And any questions about this topic or any other questions about you know charity issues or charity eligibility and whatnot, you can send an email to advice@acnc.gov.au. And we’re pretty active on social media. OK. Thank you for attending. If you’ve got any feedback on the Webinar specifically, send us an email to education@acnc.gov.au. We love hearing your feedback on the Webinars and any of the web content or education materials. It’s a great way for us to improve. And on that point, when you finish the Webinar here there will be a very, very short survey, I think it’s only three questions, might take you 20 seconds, maybe 30 seconds, about the Webinar itself. So if you could take the time to fill that in, we’d greatly appreciate it. It helps us do things better. That’s it for today. Thank you for attending. Thank you Tim.

Tim:

Thanks everyone for attending and I hope you found this useful.

Matt:

Go have a look at the data. It’s really good fun actually. You get in there and you can have a look at some really obscure little stats from the charity sector and you can waste a lot of time there. Not waste, that’s the wrong word. So you can spend a lot of time there wisely. But do check it out, it’s worthwhile. And thanks to Chris and Bree who have been answering your questions as we’ve gone along. We look forward to your attendance at our next Webinar, which will be next month. Thanks everyone.

Tim:

Bye.

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