Webinar transcript

Matt Crichton

Hello, everyone, and welcome to today’s very special webinar on getting the most out of the enhanced Charity Register. As you can see there on the screen, it's an extra special webinar today because we do have a special guest joining us for today’s webinar is Commissioner of the ACNC, Dr Gary Johns, who’s going to set the scene, give us a bit of context about the enhanced new Register and really explain how charities can get the most out of it.

Good morning - actually, it's afternoon now. Good afternoon, Gary.

Dr Gary Johns

Yes, yeah. Good afternoon, Matt.

Matt Crichton

Although it is morning in some parts of the country still. The benefits of a midday kick-off here in Melbourne means we can get away with good morning or good afternoon.

Just before we do get into the topic proper, we’ve just got a few points of admin to cover. If you're having trouble with the audio for the webinar, you can dial in, and there should have been a phone number in the confirmation email that you received upon registering. So if you're having some trouble, dial in, you should be okay for audio.

You can ask questions during the webinar and use the GoToWebinar navigation control there on your screen. There should be a spot to ask questions. We have a couple of colleagues, Rachel and Tim, standing by ready to answer all your questions. Now, sometimes we do get quite a lot of questions, and if we don’t get a chance to get back to your question during the webinar, we will endeavour to get back to you via email later on. Also, we do have a Q&A at the end, so if you wanted to watch the presentation and then come up with a question later on, that’s fine too. We’ll address it live.

And also, we’re going to send an email that follows this webinar with a link to the recording, as well as the slides and some other resources too. So if you miss some things or you're busy jotting down notes, never fear, you're going to get a copy of this later this afternoon or tomorrow.

Okay. On to the webinar proper. You can see on your screen we’ve got an agenda here. First, we’re going to have a chat with our special guest, Commissioner Dr Gary Johns, about the importance of the enhanced Charity Register. We’ll then do a demonstration. We’ll talk a bit about how charities can really get the most out of it, and we’ll answer your questions.

So, Gary, welcome to the webinar. First, if you wouldn’t mind setting the scene. Now, the Charity Register has been around for nearly 10 years now. What makes this update particularly significant?

Dr Gary Johns

The key to it, Matt, is that if you don’t know the name of a charity, you can still find out what charities do. This is the essence. It’s always been a register of charities, and quite rightly so, with all of the important documents attaching to that charity, like its constitution, Responsible Persons, and so on. And that’s well and good. That's the law. But we wanted to build something much more important, which was to demonstrate to the public all that charities do. And we’ve managed to do this by getting them to report on their programs.

Matt Crichton

And that’s the important point, because now the Charity Register contains more than just a listing of charities that are registered. It does contain thousands of charity programs, as well as the charities.

Dr Gary Johns

Yeah. So we have 60,000 charities on the register, and we now have at least 80,000 programs. And keep in mind, not all of the charities report in ways that would announce the programs. So the selection there is by definition the best in Australia. 80,000 programs. And you can find them even not knowing the name of a charity, because you’ll be able to use words to search among charitable interests that you have, charitable purposes. And if it's not there, it's not on offer by Australian charities. You’ll find what our marvellous sector has to offer Australian people in their charitable desires.

Matt Crichton

Now, for charities - and the majority of today’s audience, we know, is people involved in charities. How does this change the way they think about the Charity Register? Because they've known about it for a long time, but the enhancements mean that it can work differently for them.

Dr Gary Johns

Yes. Look, it’s just not a compliance tool. We know you have to register in order to get the taxation benefits. We understand that. But this is more than that. You can use it for promotion. Why not? This is your chance to tell the world - hint, hint, donors and volunteers and other charities who work in a similar area, and you may be able to learn from them, they may be able to learn from you. It’s a tool to promote your offering to the Australian public. And by law, actually, the Act tells us we are to inform the public of the work of the sector. We just had to work out a way to do that. We cracked it. We worked out a way to do that.

So, up until last year, we had 4.5 million searches of the Register, and it's been growing each year. I guess the ACNC is better known than it was. But this year, we’re running at an annual rate of 6 million searches of the Register. Now, that’s not 6 million people, but it's a lot of people who are having a look at what's on offer, and if you fill out your Annual Information Statement well and you tell people what your programs are, you've got a chance that you’ll be found. I think that’s a tremendous thing for a government regulator to be doing.

Matt Crichton

Yeah, definitely. And we will get on to a demonstration in a moment, but before we do, I just want to touch on the practice of using this now for charities, because it sounds great, but we don’t want people to think that it's more difficult than it really is. Putting these programs on the Register and getting the most out of a Charity Register really is easy. It doesn't place any extra burden on a charity, does it?

Dr Gary Johns

No. Our feedback from charities is that this doesn't take much time at all. So, very little cost, tremendous benefits. I’ll make this point though. Don’t leave it to the poor old secretary to fill out the Annual Information Statement. The whole committee should have a look at how they fill out the AIS, because especially with regard to charity programs, because it's your opportunity to showcase what you do. It’ll affect whether people find you.

And keep in mind, it has multiple users, whether it's a new person in town wants to look at what’s on offer in a town, they want to volunteer, support a charity, if the charities look at professional - sort of associating themselves with others who do similar works, and therefore improving what they do, philanthropist donors, researchers, the whole bit. So, it take it seriously. It’s not a bureaucratic exercise. It’s your chance. The whole committee should discuss it to say, “Okay, I think we’ve got two, maybe three programs.” You decide. It’s your instrument. And then when you've decided, you - when you log on, you get a chance to pick the category that best describes your program.

And hey, the other bit is, if a program ceases - so the funding ends or whatever - take it off the Register. If you're lucky enough and you've got a new program starting, put it on the Register. It’s your chance to keep your information up-to-date. I’m not going to be looking at it. It’s not a compliance exercise. This is for you. So keep it up-to-date, because it's essentially a conversation between you, the charity, and the public of Australia.

Matt Crichton

Excellent points. And I think we will get on to the demonstration of precisely how you can do that in a moment, but that last point is a really good one. Keep it up-to-date. It’s not a compliance tool. It’s the thing that you can use to communicate with the potential donors, supporters, volunteers, the public of Australia about your charity’s programs.

Thank you very much for setting the scene for us today, Dr Gary Johns. We really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule. And we will let you get on with all the other things you've got to do today, and we’ll have our colleague, Chris Riches, come in and help me provide our audience today with a great demonstration of the enhanced Charity Register. Thanks again.

Dr Gary Johns

Thanks, Matt.

Matt Crichton

Okay, everyone. We’re going to now have a look at how the Register works. We’ll bring the Register, the Charity Register up on screen. I’ll have my colleague Chris come in to help me with this part of the presentation today. So what we’ll do is get the Charity Register up. And -

Chris Riches

Hello.

Matt Crichton

There we go. We’ve got Chris there now. Well, we’ll pull the Charity Register up here, and you should be able to see that on your screen in a moment. There we go.

Chris Riches

Beauty.

Matt Crichton

And okay. We’ll do a bit of a demonstration before having a chat about the sorts of things that charities can do to get the most out of the Charity Register. Okay, Chris, now, Dr Gary Johns has just the scene for us and explained why it's important. Let’s take a closer look at the Charity Register in practice.

Chris Riches

Yeah, yeah. First thing, easy - it’s easy to find. We’ve just gone through and found it there. If you click on ‘Search for a charity,’ as we’re going to do here, you’ll see there’s two tabs now underneath the heading that’s there. There’s search - search by charity and search by charity program. The charities one, search by charity, that’s always been there. At the moment, charity programs is where it defaults to. So that’s the default tab that comes up. This is the new section. This is the section that allows us to search for programs.

Matt Crichton

And just quickly, before we do get on to the programs, let's just take a quick look at search by charity first, just to show that this is the same as it always was or has been.

Chris Riches

Okay. So, I’m just having a look here. As you can see, there’s little windows or little bits and pieces you can enter information. The first one here is search charity name or ABN, as it always has been. So that’s how you can find a charity. You need to know their name, as it's already been mentioned. Or you can go by their ABN. To further narrow things down, you've got the search for suburb or a post code. There’s some more filters there, which I reckon you're about to click on. There we go. And they scroll down there as well.

Matt Crichton

Okay. Now have a look at a bunch of filters that you can filter looking for a charity. But today we are going to have a look at the charity program section. So we’ll jump in there.

Chris Riches

There we go, the other tab. So that’s the search by charity program tab. Just as a reminder - we’ll probably say it a few times - we’re not searching for charity name here. We’re searching for a program. Now, it can be any program a charity can run. It doesn't have to be under the charity’s name. Obviously, we’re searching for program. So first thing we do is you have a look at the little drop-down here, type of activity or service. You’ve got a number of options there, a whole heap of options there.

You can wander over to the field here for location, if you know where you're looking - where you wish to look. There’s also a drop-down there to select whether the program’s online or not and who the charity helps, which we call beneficiaries. But it's - I guess generally speaking, the sector of the community that the program aims to benefit would be the way to put it.

Matt Crichton

Yeah. Sorry to jump in. Just to make it clear that you don’t have to know all of these things, right? So it's important that - not all fields are required. You can use this in - any of these fields in a way to find what you might be looking for. So let's now test it out with everyone. Chris, let's go. What should we look for?

Chris Riches

All right. Well, let's go and have a look at the type of activity or service. I reckon we might have a look for animal welfare. That's usually a popular one. So we go to that drop-down there that you can see on the screen. There’s animal welfare there. So you can select that. And let's pick a location. Let’s say Paramatta, Paramatta in New South Wales. So there we go. Let’s make sure that we - we’re going to have a bit of a look - hello, there we go.

Matt Crichton

Okay. So I’ve typed out and found animal welfare, and Paramatta. So just quickly, you might just - there’s a couple of ways we’ve got that showing up there was that 'A' it was very easy to find, but of course you can also type - type it too. There we go. Type it here and find all the things that begin with ‘animal.’ We have lots of specific categories, but we’re going for the broader, highest-level category here that encompasses many of the more specific ones. There we go.

Chris Riches

And oftentimes, when you're looking at - you're doing something like this, if you're going to, as we’d say, filter the results, maybe start with the broad result first, and then if you want to narrow it down further and further, that’s when you can perhaps look at the more specific stuff underneath, I suppose. But as you can see, we’ve got a few - a couple of programs here.

Now, on the left, you’ll see under search results, you’ll see two programs that run in the area that we are searching for, animal welfare in Paramatta. So what you can do, you can click on one of them, which we’ll do there. Oh, there we go. Now, it shows up on the map. It shows the location, shows all the other little bits and pieces. But what also happens is when you click on a program that shows up on the map like this, you can then go to the charity that runs the program, and you can find out more about the charity that runs the program. Now, this is pretty good. So we’ll go back to where the charity listing is, I suppose.

Matt Crichton

We’ll just have a look at this one. Okay. So we’ve clicked through to the charity, and you can see that charity’s listed here. We can have a look at the programs that we just looked for. Okay, and we find some more information about those programs. There.

Chris Riches

There we go. And this is great too, because obviously you're looking for a program, you can then find out more information about who’s on the program, who runs the program, and if there are other programs that that charity runs, or other locations that might suit what you're looking for. So again, it's being able to search and then search further, I suppose.

Now, we’ll go back to the - what are we doing? Go back to the search results. Here we go. So we’ve got the list view here. Now, that provides the information without the map. So that’s just sort of a straight up and down text info. So that’s pretty handy as well. It also shows how many locations a charity might have for this program. Because obviously, programs can be across multiple locations.

Matt Crichton

Yeah, that’s right. And this one in particular has - they've listed six locations for this program. And just to note, on the relative paucity of options in this category in Paramatta, you’ll notice that the radius for the location is set to three kilometres. Of course, we can change that to wider radius, and that will obviously give us a few more options.

Chris Riches

Yeah, definitely.

Matt Crichton

So let's test out another one. We can - let's have a look at how the beneficiaries tab might help someone find a program they're after. So, what I can do, we’ve got the reset button here. I’ve just hit reset. I’m going to do another search. I want to find another charity. So give me another one.

Chris Riches

All right. Let’s say community development. Community work, community development. That's another sort of popular category.

Matt Crichton

Okay. I’ll find it. There we go, community development. It’s that one.

Chris Riches

There we go. We’ll say - we’ll go Melbourne this time. We’ll go Werribee. So that’s in Melbourne’s western suburbs there. So, growing area, probably a little bit of community development happening there.

Matt Crichton

We'll go six kilometres.

Chris Riches

There we go. So what search results have we got?

Matt Crichton

All right.

Chris Riches

Now, we’re going to just toggle back to the old map view here. There we go. Now, we’ve got a few, which is unsurprising. Quite a few, actually, which is great.

Matt Crichton

Yeah. We have a look here on the left.

Chris Riches

Now, we want to maybe - let's see if we can narrow it a bit further. Maybe we’ll look at an environmental program. That might narrow it down.

Matt Crichton

This beneficiaries tab, environment?

Chris Riches

Yeah.

Matt Crichton

Okay.

Chris Riches

So this is where the beneficiaries tab comes in handy. The number of results just for community development in an area, that was quite a lot. But then what you can do is you can go, “All right. Well, who do I want this program to be benefitting?” or what, because environment isn’t a who, obviously. And use that beneficiaries tab, who the - who it helps. Now we’re down to two. So that’s a big help. And yeah, we go from there, I suppose. We can click on an option and see what the story is.

What's worth mentioning here, obviously too - whoop - here we go. Where's it gone? There it is. What's worth mentioning here too is that the program name is different to the program classification. So the name of the program is whatever the charity enters and puts in. The classification comes from a set taxonomy, is probably the best way to put it. Now, that’s a list of classifications that has been specifically designed for the charity sector, designed - initially developed by Our Community, who a lot of you would have familiarity with. And we’re using that. And so that’s sort of the difference between, I guess, the program name and the program classification.

Matt Crichton

Okay. It’s a good point. You can’t search by a program name. So we have a look on the left here, we’ve got a couple. We’ve got Clean up Day and we’ve got Community Support. They may be the names of the programs that the charities decided to put in, but what's important is the classification that they used for those programs. People won’t be searching for the program name. They’ll be using the classification to find the program.

And it's important to name your program something useful, something that gives the member of the public an idea of what the charity does or what the program’s about, but it's also really important to remember that the program search function here on the Charity Register will go by the classification. It’s not going to search for the name that the charity provides for the program. So it's important just to give it a good name, but also think about the classification.

Now, we’ve seen how it works, and it's pretty straightforward. Let’s talk a little bit about how a charity can make sure it gets the most out of the Charity Register. Because as Dr Gary Johns said, this is for charities to use as a tool of promotion and important to think about it as a tool of promotion. Now, we’ll jump away from the Register. I’ll go back into our presentation slide here. So we’ve got a few groups to think about. Now - whoops, hang on a second. If we could go for the first one, which is charities, let's have a look at how charities can get the most out of it.

Chris Riches

As Matt mentioned, as Dr Johns mentioned, it's almost a thought process, I guess, and approach that the Register now is a way to showcase your charity’s work. As Dr Johns said, it’s beyond that compliance thing. It’s more than that now. We know the Register gets millions of searches a year. So, it's a great way to present your charity’s work to a lot of people. And a diverse lot of people, I suppose. The key thing is, again, to make sure that the programs that you list in relation to your charity are there, and they're classified well.

Matt Crichton

And it also provides another presence on the Internet for a charity, doesn't it?

Chris Riches

Yeah, it does. Look, lots of charities obviously have their own website. Those who don’t, they might use social media, use it to great effect. So, this can be an important web presence of a different type, I suppose. It’s one that allows a member of the public to check the legitimacy of a charity as well, check its details, get an insight into its work, all in the same spot. And it's free. So I mean, all the good things, I suppose.

Matt Crichton

And we have heard that charities have found it useful in collaborating or cooperating with other groups.

Chris Riches

Yeah, it’s very useful in that way. Previously, and in some ways, if you don’t use the Register it might still be the case, finding charities with a specific purpose or a program in a specific location for collaboration or for cooperation, even if you're working on an event, you want to work with another organisation, if you're fundraising or work with another organisation, that can be a bit challenging. It’s long been a bit challenging. But you know, for example, you've got charity - you just looked up anyone to collaborate on a project or a new program in even another part of the country, the program search on the Register is very, very handy.

Matt Crichton

And for charities to get the most out of it though, it's important to understand how also other users will approach the Charity Register. Now, we’ve got two other broad groups in mind here. The first one is donors, volunteers, and supporters. Or we can call them potential donors, volunteers, and supporters. And the other group is the established philanthropists and grant makers - entities that are responsible for giving out set funds that are set aside.

So, of course there is some crossover between these groups of people, but we’re going to take them separately to give you an indication of the way in which you can think about the Charity Register for your charity. First, donors, volunteers, and supporters.

Chris Riches

Yeah, look, people want to support causes, that's pretty obvious. They might have a cause in mind, but they might not necessarily know of a charity that works towards that cause. They might not know a name, that sort of thing. So these people, the potential donors or volunteers, supporters, they can use the program search to find the cause that they're interested in, and then through that, the charity that is delivering that program towards that cause. So this again highlights the importance of I guess the classifications that a charity uses for their programs as well.

Matt Crichton

Yeah, exactly right. And as mentioned, the program name isn’t the thing that people are going to search on this part of the Register. It is the classification that’ll get them to the program. So while the program name is important - people of course need to have an idea of what work’s involved in a program, and the name is often a good hint for that - it's not the thing that people are going to be searching. But also, the location. We’ve got here ‘search the map,’ because the location is important too.

Chris Riches

Yeah, and this is also, again, important here that a charity can list multiple locations for a program. And look, in the real world, often programs do span multiple locations. So not only is it accurate, but it helps if a donor or a supporter, volunteer, potential, you know, is looking to get involved with a charity in a specific geographic area. So, if you put all - list all the locations of a program, that potential donor or supporter or volunteer has options.

Matt Crichton

It’s just important to note also that if you - if there is a reason that your charity does not want a location of a program being made public - and there are lots of legitimate reasons for this - it can enter a broad location such as the state or something like that, which won’t provide a specific location for a program. Okay and also, donors, volunteers, and supporters are taking the opportunity, while they're on the Charity Register, to check a charity’s credentials when looking for a cause or a program to support.

Chris Riches

The ability to check those credentials, the ability to have a look, this comes about because the Register has a lot of information about the charity. We’re talking obviously Annual Information Statements, Responsible People details, constitution. People who visit, they can check all these sorts of information while they're thinking about the program. So, again, there’s this flow on emphasis that it's important that a charity ensures that all these other details are up-to-date and in order as well.

So making sure that your reporting is up-to-date, making sure that your AIS - sorry, Annual Information Statements - are done, making sure that the list of Responsible People that you have listed is current and is up-to-date. Adding to them or subtracting from them when comings and goings happen. Making sure there’s a copy of the constitution for your organisation on the Register as well. And also, maybe most importantly, in some respects, making sure your contact details are correct and current. That's vital.

Matt Crichton

Yeah, definitely. Don’t forget that people want to see that a charity is well-run before donating time, money, and other forms of support. All these details on the Register matter. And they work together to create a full picture of the charity and the way it is run, the way it is governed. So if Annual Information Statements are late or missing, if other important information is out of date or missing, it gives a certain impression of the charity. So of course, make sure the programs are there. That's important. Make sure they're classified as well. But at the same time, don’t forget the other details on the Charity Register.

Chris Riches

Yeah, and in this way, it's probably a good idea to take the opportunity now for your charity to have a look at your listing on the Charity Register. Check it out to see if it's all up-to-date. Click around the tabs. Look through the information. Correct anything that you might feel needs correcting, especially, again, those contact details. We know particularly email addresses can come and go, so make sure they're all up-to-date. People will use the Register to get in touch with a charity, whether it might be to donate or to volunteer, help out in another way to support it. So it's important that they have a way to contact the charity, and the way that it's listed is accurate as well.

Matt Crichton

Now, the other group we were talking about is philanthropists and grant makers. The difference here, I suppose, is that you know that this group of people is looking to give money. That's what they do. The Charity Register, now with the program search, is an important tool for philanthropists and grant makers in finding charities to give money to via the programs that they run.

Chris Riches

Yeah, and philanthropists and grant makers will be using the program search on the Register to find charities for the funds they have set aside for a certain cause. So, again, having your charity’s programs list their names clearly, they're classified accurately and well, and locations are included as well because some grant makers or philanthropists might only fund in a certain geographic area, a local government area or a town. So, all of those things will mean that your charity is in the game when it comes to looking for grants, looking for philanthropy.

Grant makers and philanthropists, they're often looking for charities doing specific work in a specific location, and the Charity Register can help them find that and find the charities that they actually want to target.

Matt Crichton

And just touching on the point you raised a few moments ago, importantly, they can also use the Register to check off eligibility criteria for a charity. So they may check the charity’s Annual Information Statement submissions. They may even look into the Annual Information Statements as well. They may check the charity’s financial information. They may even check the charity’s constitution.

The point is that the new enhanced Charity Register plays an important dual role for this group of people, the philanthropists and the grant makers. The Charity Register can put a charity forward by virtue of the programs it runs, but it can also allow a user to check on that charity’s credentials. And in the case of a philanthropist or a grant maker, make sure that they meet the required criteria for the funds that they've got on offer.

Chris Riches

Yeah and then obviously too, once they've checked these details, they may want to get in touch with you. So again, they might use the Register to get in touch with the charity. So ensure that your contact details are accurate and up-to-date as well on the Register.

Matt Crichton

Okay. Now, just to finish off, we’ll look at the how. There are a couple of ways that you can edit the information on the Charity Register, just to make sure that it is presenting the best picture of your charity for all the millions of searches that are going on. We’ll start with the programs.

Chris Riches

Yeah. Look, there’s two ways, really, when it comes down to it. The Annual Information Statement is one way, or there’s a form that we have on our Portal. That's the change charity program form. But the Annual Information Statement may be the one that you're most familiar with. It’s the once-a-year submission. That includes a lot of information about your charity, asks questions about activities and programs, finances, and all of that sort of stuff over the last 12 months.

Now, there is a section in there, you might have noticed, that looks at programs. And that’s a section where you can add or you can take away or you can edit programs that your charity might run. So that’s sort of the once-a-year type of thing. Now, clearly we know that these things might change outside of your once-a-year Annual Information Statement efforts.

So there is a change charity program form in the Portal, which is designed specifically for that task. It is an easy form to use. Again, it's the same sort of, I guess, logic. You can add a program, you can subtract a program, you can edit program details. So they're the two ways that we work to get program information up and going.

Matt Crichton

And just quickly, the summary of activities is another thing that you may have noticed on the Charity Register, the charity’s listing on the Charity Register. That's contained within the Annual Information Statement. That provides a space for a charity to describe their work in general terms, in whatever words they want to use, and have that display on the Charity Register. So whereas the programs are set to classifications, that summary of activities is a spot where a charity can use its own descriptions to describe what work they do in what areas.

Chris Riches

Yeah.

Matt Crichton

Okay.

Chris Riches

Now, getting the most out of the Register though, I guess, it's not just about this new feature, this new programs feature. Obviously, the programs feature is very important. But it's, again, important to remember that people are going to be checking the credentials of charities, as well. So again, we’ll emphasise these points to ensure that your Annual Information Statement - your charity’s Annual Information Statement is submitted on time. Making sure it's complete, as well. That's vital. And keeping other information up-to-date. So logging to the Charity Portal, complete the form that you may need for the change that you need to make.

If you're not sure about which form you might need to fill in or what those forms cover, we do have a page on the website where there’s a list. And that’s at acnc.gov.au/forms. And that’ll give you a rundown of all the forms that are available in the Portal, as well as a few that are available outside of the Portal, I think, as well.

Matt Crichton

That's right. Now, we’ll move on to some questions. Actually, we’ve had a couple of questions come through. And just as we do move on, I will send that link through to everyone here in the chat. There we go.

Chris Riches

All right. One's been sent through, and we’ve been asked - with the new bits and pieces and the new things that are in the - able to be used in the Register, how can perhaps a smaller charity or a newly established charity, how can they perhaps leverage some of the abilities that are in the Register now to best benefit them?

Matt Crichton

Okay, yeah, for smaller charities. I can see because it seems like there’s a competition with the larger charities and in the donor dollar, but the beauty of the Register is that it does put forward a small charity just in the same way they would put forward a big charity based on the programs that it runs. So if someone is looking for a program or looking to support a cause via a program and your tiny charity runs the program they're looking for, it's going to show up in their search results just in the same way that it would for a large charity. So in that sense, it levels the playing field.

And the important thing for a small charity to know is that it should provide all the programs that it runs. You can input up to 10 in the Annual Information Statement. Provide appropriate classifications for them. And give them good, clear names. Even though we’ve mentioned that the names is not the thing that you're searching for, it can help a user identify the program that they want to support if they understand a bit about the work via the name. But make sure the programs are there, the locations are there, and they're classified appropriately. And that’s the best thing a small charity can do to put their foot forward and make sure that their programs show up as well.

Chris Riches

And just quickly too on that, I guess, updating those details, those program details regularly stops the - what might be a little bit more time that needs to be spent when the Annual Information Statement comes around. If you use the change charity program form and you regularly sort of update, it's a little bit of work that has a bigger benefit down the track, I suppose.

There was another question, and maybe we’ve touched on it a little bit here. Is there a little bit of an opportunity here with some of these features to have some increased storytelling, Matt, in relating to the charity - you know, the charity that they're a part of? Is there an opportunity for that?

Matt Crichton

There is an opportunity in the Annual Information Statement to describe the charity’s work. And that would be the place where you could add a little bit of storytelling, I suppose, as the questioner puts it. Within the programs itself, as we’ve described, as we've demonstrated, they are categorised according to set terms. So within those terms, there isn’t the spot to then further describe more about the program itself. But the Charity Register listing has a place where a charity can describe the summary of its activities, and that, as we’ve mentioned, is done in your words or the words of the people involved in the charity rather than to set classifications.

So, the two working in tandem give a user a really good insight into the work that a charity does. And importantly, this isn’t the end of the line for a user in finding a program. This connects a user, a potential donor or volunteer or supporter, it connects them to the charity, and they're naturally going to go to the charity’s own website, whether that be the home page or the particular page of a particular program, that’s what can be included on a charity program, and that’s where the person is going to learn more about the specifics of a program rather than on the program Register.

So think about it as a way to - as Dr Gary Johns said at the beginning - speak to the potential donors, supporters, volunteers out there, the potential philanthropists and grant makers, and then they can make that connection with your charity via the Charity Register, the program search.

Chris Riches

It’s almost like a bit of an entranceway. People will use it as a bit of an entranceway into your work or into your website, and to get them to walk through the door, I guess, is the big thing.

Matt Crichton

All right. Well, that does bring us to the end of the presentation today. We really appreciate you taking the time to be with us and listen to what we have to say about the new Charity Register. Now, we really hope that you go out there and use it to its full potential for your charity, and we hope that that connects you with lots of potential donors, volunteers, and supporters, and whoever else.

If you want to stay in touch with everything the ACNC has to say and present and do, we’ve got lots of web guidance and publications on the website. We have a monthly e-newsletter, The Charitable Purpose, and we also have webinars like this one and podcasts. And of course, you can contact us by the Contact Us form there at website. And we’re big on social media, so follow us on those social media accounts that we’ve got listed there. Thank you again for joining us today. Thanks, Chris, for showing us the Charity Register and how charities can get the most out of it.

Chris Riches

Thank you very much.

Matt Crichton

Thank Tim and Rachel for answering all your questions in the background. If we didn't get to one of your questions, we will get in touch with you via email. And a recording of this session as well as the slides and some other resources, links to other resources will be included in a follow-up email to all that registered. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback specifically about webinars, give us an email at education@acnc.gov.au.

And just on feedback, there is a very short feedback survey at the end of the webinar. When you close the GoToWebinar, you’ll be presented with a couple of questions. I think it takes probably no more than 20 seconds, maybe 25, to do, and we really get a lot out of that feedback. So if you can take the time, we would really appreciate that. Once again, thanks, everyone, for joining us today. We hope you enjoyed the session. Thanks, Chris.

Chris Riches

Thank you. See you later.