CHRIS RICHES

Good afternoon, everybody. How are you all? Welcome to our November ACNC webinar, in which we’re going to be looking at how charities can showcase their work and projects and programs through the 2020 Annual Information Statement.

My name’s Chris Riches. I’m from the ACNC’s Education team. Joining me today is Tim Liu from the ACNC’s Reporting and Red Tape Reduction team. Hi, Tim.

TIM LIU

Hi, everyone. Hope you're doing well.

CHRIS RICHES

Now, as is always the way, before we kick into gear, we’ll just get some housekeeping out of the way.

If you've got any troubles with the audio for the webinar, you can try listening through your phone. Call the number listed in the email you will have received upon signup, and you can put in the access code and listen to the webinar that way.

You can also type a question at any time through the webinar. We’ve got Matt and Gulnaar helping us out and responding to questions and queries. We’ll try and answer all the questions as they come through, but if your question isn’t answered, feel free to send us an email at the end of proceedings, and we’ll get back to you. If you want to send us an email through, it's to education@acnc.gov.au.

A recording of this webinar as well as the slides and the presentation will be published on the ACNC website within a day or so. As always, we’ll send out an email with all the website links featured in this webinar so you don’t have to scribble down everything frantically as we go through.

We’ve also got a handout that you will have received and have access to through the GoToWebinar panel there. It’s got links to some of the slides that we’ll mention today and some of the pages on our website that would be worth looking at and that are relevant to what's going on today.

Finally, we really value your feedback. If you've got any suggestions for ways we can improve our webinars, let us know in the short survey at the end of today’s session.

What's on the agenda for today? Look, the first thing we’re going to cover is we’re going to look I guess a little bit more from a wider perspective and explain the ACNC’s role of maintaining, protecting, and enhancing public trust and confidence in charities and the charity sector. And in that, how the Annual Information Statement plays a crucial role in those efforts. Our focus here, obviously, is going to be on the 2020 Annual Information Statement or AIS, as we’ll shorten it to through our session today, and it's the 2020 AIS that charities can use to showcase their work through their normal question-answering processes, I suppose.

We’re also going to focus in through the 2020 AIS on the programs section. We’re going to look at what a program actually is. We’re going to work through what the programs section of the AIS asks.

Some charities may have already used our Program Previewer on our website, or they may already know about it. It’s going to get a whirl today at the webinar as well. We’re going to go through things and have a look at how things work there.

What else? What else are we up to, Tim?

TIM LIU

Yeah. So as part of that, when we go through the webinar, we’ll take you - oh, sorry - the preview. We’ll take you through some of the questions that your charity will be asked and go through the ways with which you can answer their question to best showcase your charity’s work, its programs, and its efforts.

We’ll also have a look at the ACNC Charity Register. In particular, we’re going to show you how your programs display on each of your charity records. So that’s an important part of showcasing what you do and will help the public, us, and donors to understand your charity’s programs.

CHRIS RICHES

So, we’ve got a bit to do and a bit to cover. As a starting point, we’ll look at our role of maintaining, protecting, and enhancing public trust and confidence and how the AIS fits into those efforts.

Look, when the AIS was established, it was established under the ACNC Act.

That act contains - or contains, actually, three main aims. More formally, they're called object to guide the ACNC’s efforts. One of them is to, as we’ve said already a couple of times, maintain, protect, and enhance public trust and confidence in the sector through increased accountability and transparency.

As the charity regulator, this is of course a vital part of our work and what we do. We achieve this in all manner of ways. A couple of the ways - I guess the more noteworthy ways or things the ACNC are doing in the near future, one of them’s mentioned here on-screen, a series of DGR reviews for charities that have DGR status. For more information about that, you can go to acnc.gov.au/DGRreviews.

We will also receive some funding in the most recent Federal Government budget to carry out a series of, I guess, field-based risk reviews on charities around Australia.

I got ahead of myself there. There’s an update on that as part of the media release we released last month if you go to our media section and have a look there, some details about that. It’s also in the handout that you will receive today as well, a link to this media release if you want a little bit more about that.

Now, so I don't get ahead of myself, I’ll click this and Tim can have - or start us in on the Annual Information Statement.

TIM LIU

Yeah. Thanks, Chris. So, as Chris has mentioned, one of the most important ways that we will maintain, protect, and enhance public trust and confidence in the sector is by having charities report to us annually through the Annual Information Statement or the AIS.

Now, most of you have already completed an AIS in the past, but for those who haven't, the AIS essentially just contains questions about a charity’s activities, programs, operations, and some basic financial information.

It also contains a range of questions that we ask on behalf of other regulators across Australia to reduce the reporting burden for a range of charities.

CHRIS RICHES

Now, as you know, or as everyone knows, information provided by charities through their AIS can appear on the ACNC Charity Register. And this is I guess where the 2020 AIS comes in.

We’ve made some changes and some tweaks to the 2020 AIS to give charities a great chance to promote their work to even more people, even more members of the public.

Tim, are you able to, I guess, explain a little bit about what we’ve done with the 2020 AIS? And particularly the questions that focus on charity programs.

TIM LIU

Yeah, sure. Thanks, Chris. So, focusing on the programs, what we’ve done is remove a whole range of questions that previously asked charities about their activities, and instead ask questions about our program.

So when our commissioner has gone out to speak to charities, his understanding and learning is that charities speak in the language of programs - “this is what I do,” rather than an activity sort of discussion. So we’re defining our program as an activity or service that a charity runs to achieve its charitable purposes for its beneficiaries.

Although we’ve previously asked about activities, we’re moving the focus to programs because we think it'll give greater granularity and information to the public, to us, and to anyone who’s interested in donating to your charity.

CHRIS RICHES

And also, just to I guess clarify that too - I know it's up on the screen here - but when we mention beneficiaries, beneficiaries are I guess those who the charity helps, if we’re talking about people, certain sections of the community.

So that’s I guess what a program does. It’s set up to help beneficiaries, and beneficiaries are those that you aim to help.

I’m just having a look here. The ACNC has always asked questions about charity programs through the AIS.

In 2020 and beyond, we’re doing this I guess a little bit differently.

What are some of the differences? What are some of the things we’re going to be looking at doing, Tim?

TIM LIU

Yeah. So I guess the main thing we’ve done is when we talk about programs, we’ve introduced a taxonomy. So it's a taxonomy of charitable classifications.

So in the past, we asked charities to report on their main activities. There were about 26 different options that charities could select from.

We’re now using a taxonomy developed by our community. It’s called CLASSIE. And that has been developed specifically for the Australian NFP sector.

So CLASSIE uses easy, relatable language to describe a charity’s programs, and there’s over 840 different classifications that charities can use to describe their program.

CHRIS RICHES

Now, with CLASSIE - and we mentioned Our Community here - many, many people who are with us today have probably heard of Our Community.

So again, that emphasis on it being very much an Australian sort of - a system or a classification system that’s suitable for the Australian sector and organisations in Australia is important.

These systems and classifications that are used in CLASSIE are used by funders and by grant makers who support the sector. So, it sort of means that there’s a bit of a focus, a bit of an emphasis on everyone speaking the same language.

In a way, we mentioned or Tim mentioned earlier on, the idea of speaking in programs, I suppose. So there’s that idea of speaking the same language.

Now, the questions that are being asked in this section of the AIS, they're going to offer a really strong and a very relevant, real opportunity for charities to showcase their work, because you’ll be able to better describe it, better categorise it, and the descriptions are easy enough language, down-to-earth, and you’ll be able to go through and ensure that you can categorise it in a way that it's easy to understand for people who may be looking for information about your group on the charity register.

How are the questions, Tim, going to, I guess prompt responses that are going to help charities showcase their work?

TIM LIU

Thanks, Chris. Yeah. So there’s basically five different elements that we’ll ask charities to report on for their programs. We’ll go through that when we go through the Previewer tool.

But essentially, we’ve designed the questions in a way that are similar to what we previously asked, but that also provide enough clear guidance for charities when answering those questions.

And we’ll show you as we go through the Preview tool soon.

CHRIS RICHES

Yeah. What it also does, what we we’ve set out here is it gives charities the ability to showcase multiple programs. And when we talk about - it's important to emphasise this opportunity and this possibility of showcasing multiple programs.

Charities can choose, I guess, how many programs they detail in this section of the AIS. They are compelled to detail one program as a minimum. They can detail - it's up to 10, isn’t it, Tim?

TIM LIU

Yeah.

CHRIS RICHES

Yeah, up to 10. And the more programs you detail - this is I guess common sense, but the more programs you detail, the more information and context it'll provide potential supporters and members of the general public and funders, philanthropists, grant makers, all that, about your work and all the bits and pieces that you do.

So, that’s an important aspect of what's been done here as well.

Now, what we’re going to do is we’re going to do a quick switchy screen, and we’re going to go into the Program Previewer. Now, the Program Previewer, you can access it on our website here, acnc.gov.au/ProgramPreviewer, and we’ve provided this little bit of context just before we get into it. So, there we go. We’re switching over. Beautiful.

Now, what this is and what you can see on the screen. And Tim’s going to talk to this a little bit more is our Program Previewer. It’s a preview of the programs section of the Annual Information Statement. And that allows you to go through - get familiar with this section, but also perhaps have a bit of a check about some of the classifications and some of the bits and pieces that it involves.

But I’ll stop talking for a second. I’ll let Tim do a little bit of the navigation here.

TIM LIU

Thanks, Chris. So first thing that we’ll ask charities to provide is the name of their program. What we’ve found is that charities normally have a way that they frame a program. So it might be to do with ear health or something like that.

So you might just have a program for dogs called, let's say, Dog Rescue Service.

CHRIS RICHES

Now, if your program doesn't have a formal name, what do you do? You can just give it a name, can’t you?

TIM LIU

Yeah, we recommend that charities just provide Program One, Program Two, Program Three, for example. The reason that we need you to name your program is so charities or the public can actually identify which of your programs you have when you search you on the charity register. All right. So then I’ll take you -

CHRIS RICHES

Sorry, I was going to say now, we’ve given the name. This is good. Classification. Now, this is where the CLASSIE and the taxonomy sort of comes into play a little bit, yeah?

TIM LIU

Yeah. So this is, I guess, the newest bit, but we think it's pretty easy.

So when you click on the button, there’s two ways that you can classify your program. Left-hand side, there’s a search part that you can use, or you can use the right-hand side to search through the classifications.

So one of the first things I might just do is use the classifications search bar. We have developed the keyword search algorithm. So all you have to do is type in a particular subject. For example, if you work with the homeless, you type in ‘homeless,’ and then you’ll get a range of results that show possible outcomes or possible classifications you could select. If you want to -

CHRIS RICHES

So it's going to down to the next level, isn’t it? It’s going from just saying - as you've put in there, ‘homeless,’ it's then giving you those options that allow you to maybe dig down that extra level, isn’t it?

TIM LIU

Yeah, exactly. It’s the extra granularity that we think that will provide charities with a better opportunity to explain what they're doing and who they're helping.

So, for example, if you want to select homeless services, you can click on that, and there’ll be a detailed description of what that classification involves. So you can read through that. If you don’t think it really applies to you, you can move on to the next option. There’s soup kitchens. You might think that’s a more relevant classification for your program.

And once you're done, you can select - or click on the select icon here.

The other one you can find a classification is just to search through the right-hand side. So you can just click through the main categories here and find one that may apply to you.

So in this example, if we’re looking at the environment, you click on the text here and you can see there’s a range of drop-down options. Your charity might be involved in climate change and you can then click on that, read about it, and select that as your program classification.

Now, it's important to note that you can only have one program classification per program. So you can’t select two classifications.

CHRIS RICHES

With this - either way you approach it, through the keyword search or through the options on the right-hand side, again, the whole idea of being able to make these choices and being able to look at, I guess, from a wide perspective and then delve down that little bit is, as you said, Tim, it gives that little bit more detail, that little bit more granularity to the information that will eventually be displayed on the charity’s page on the charity register, yeah?

TIM LIU

Yeah, definitely. Yeah.

CHRIS RICHES

Now, next one. We’ve decided now that we’ve got a climate change classification happening.

We scroll on down. Beneficiaries. Now, the ACNC in the past has asked information about beneficiaries in previous AISs. So there’s nothing hugely new here.

But as we’ve said before, beneficiaries are those who your charity’s program seek to help. Now, that again, might mean certain people, subsections of the population, certain parts of society or the world.

Now, responding to this question, this will probably look pretty familiar to people who’ve done an AIS in the past. It’s relatively straightforward, isn’t it?

TIM LIU

Yeah, definitely, Chris. We’ve kept the beneficiaries identical to provide AISes, with the exception of two new categories, the animals and the environment. So they haven't been previously available as beneficiaries, but they now are.

So as Chris mentioned, you can scroll through the beneficiaries list and select the categories that apply to that particular program. You can select more than one option here.

But generally, we recommend if you've got five or six different beneficiary groups, you might consider general community in Australia, just because that’s probably more representative of the charity’s beneficiaries.

If a charity selects an other beneficiary, which shouldn’t be that often, you’ll be asked to provide some additional narrative on that. But in this case, you could say that if your charity’s program relates to climate change, it would either be the environment and possibly just the general community in Australia.

CHRIS RICHES

Now, notice here - and probably people have noticed too - you can tick more than one box here, can’t you?

TIM LIU

Yeah, definitely. Yeah. We’ve kept that possibility open. We do recognise that there’s lots of beneficiaries for a particular programs.

CHRIS RICHES

And unless you need to tick five or six boxes, it's probably better to keep it to a relatively smaller number, just for I guess ease of use, yeah?

TIM LIU

Yeah, definitely. Now that we’re asking questions about a charity’s program, we should be able to narrow in a bit more in terms of who each program helps.

And that should hopefully provide some additional clarity on the charity register.

CHRIS RICHES

Yeah. Now, just before we go any further with this too, just a reminder, as is usually the case, there’s some great guidance for completing this section of the actual AIS and other parts of the AIS on the ACNC website in our AIS Hub.

The hub includes our guide, and that’s got detailed guidance, information on each question in the AIS, including these programs’ questions.

It’s also got a checklist that you can go through to ensure that you've got all the bits and pieces you need before you start working on the AIS, so you've got all the documents you need, the information, all that sort of stuff.

So the AIS Hub, if you go to acnc.gov.au/2020AISHub, you can go and have a look and get a bit of an idea.

If you are using the Program Previewer as well, there is a specific section of the AIS guide that relates directly to the questions that you’ll see in the Program Previewer. That's detailed at the top of the Program Previewer page that you're currently looking at right now. So you’ll be able to link directly to that.

So there we go, we’re going to zoom back up. There we go. Yeah. The 2020 Annual Information Statement guide, refer to question eight under the charity program section of the guide for more detail on this section.

So that part of the AIS guide will be directly relevant to the questions that you see in the Program Previewer.

Now, as we zoom on back down again, program location. So that’s pretty straightforward for the most part, but there are maybe a couple of things to remember here, aren't there?

TIM LIU

Yeah. So this is probably one of the bigger changes we’ve made in terms of how a charity will report to us. For those of you who’ve previously submitted an AIS, you would’ve just been asked to tick a box next to the state or territory that your charity operates, and maybe if it operates overseas, you’d tick that box and provide us with some of those countries that you operate in.

We’ve actually made it easier now for charities to report on their program locations, and recognising the diversity of where the program operates.

We’ve actually expanded the way that charities can provide their operating location to us. So it's now a text-based search result. So if you click on ‘add location’ here, charities are able to provide a range of operating locations. You can be as specific as you want. You could specify it straight. You could even specify suburb, or if you operate across Australia, you can just say Australia.

So what I’ll do is just take you through a couple of examples here. So if you operate - if you wanted to provide a that address, you could say, 10 - let's say 10 Williams Street in Paddington. That would be a street address. You then click on ‘add another location’ to provide us with a second one, for example. You can then select Sydney as your city. You could also choose a landmark, so the Great Barrier Reef. And then if you were operating across numerous, I guess, states, you might just select Australia.

Now, charities can provide a range of operating locations for each program. You’re not limited to just one. But we’ve given charities a lot of flexibility to report on their program locations.

CHRIS RICHES

So if a charity is, say - say a charity is located there at 10 Williams Street in Paddington but their program, whilst it might operate from that operating base - it might be their shopfront, their building - but maybe that program that they have covers two or three different suburbs in and around Sydney or New South Wales, they can also just add those in, can’t they? That will provide another level of detail, yeah?

TIM LIU

Yeah, definitely. And you can also report by council area if you’d like.

[Crosstalk]

TIM LIU

There’s a Melbourne City Council or here, Melbourne City, for example, that you could select from. So if you’re operating in a specific local government area, that might be easier than specifying four or five different suburbs.

CHRIS RICHES

And there’ll be plenty of charities that would be operating within maybe one or two local government areas in their region. That would be a very handy way of being able to describe it.

TIM LIU

Yeah, definitely.

CHRIS RICHES

Now, we can sort of see just underneath there a little tick box. It says, “This program is run outside Australia.” So if your program is run outside of Australia, what do you need to do?

TIM LIU

Yeah. So by ticking this box, you’ll be asked to provide the list of countries that your charity operates in. It’s similar to the 2019 AIS in that you can just search for particular terms like Korea and just select that and keep on going.

The operating locations above here are only for Australian locations. So when we talk about overseas countries, we’re only looking for the name of the country. We don’t need the detail of where in that overseas country your charity operates in.

And the other thing that we’ve allowed is the ability in the AIS for charities to select that they operate online. So if your charity’s just a virtual charity, it doesn't really have a physical presence, in the AIS there’ll be a similar tick box right here just to allow you to say that you operate online.

CHRIS RICHES

And if you tick that box, what comes up on-screen? Does anything come up onscreen?

TIM LIU

No, no, no. You’ll just tick that box saying you operate online, and that’s all that you’ll be asked for that particular segment.

CHRIS RICHES

Cool. Now, the last one - and again, you can probably just see it peeking at the bottom of the screen there - program web link.

Now, you can enter obviously your - if you've got a specific spot on your website that maybe covers this program, a specific page or a specific bit of information, you can put that there. You can be as detailed as you want. If you don’t, you can maybe just put your general website, your homepage, something like that, something that you feel that’s sort of relatively relevant to the program or the work that you do.

Now, if charities don’t have a website, what can they put on, Tim? What would we be happy to have listed there?

TIM LIU

We’d just recommend that you leave that blank.

So when we ask for the details of a charity’s programs, all of these locations, beneficiaries, classification, and name are compulsory. But the web link isn’t. We recognise that not every charity might have a specific web link for each program.

CHRIS RICHES

And also, too, if you haven't got a website or a specific webpage or something like that, but maybe - Tim will correct me here, so I stand corrected when I say this, but you might be on social media - you might have Facebook or you might have an Instagram page - you can put that as your web link as well. Is that an option?

TIM LIU

Yeah, definitely. Definitely.

CHRIS RICHES

Okay, cool, cool. So that’s - look, this is pretty much - this Program Previewer, as we’ve said, that pretty much covers this section of questions.

As you can see, there are some bits that are familiar and pretty similar. There are some bits that we’ve made a little bit of - a little sort of - a few alterations and a bit of change to ensure that we accommodate the CLASSIE taxonomy.

All that’s pretty straightforward language and pretty plain-speaking, I suppose, too.

So importantly here too, the Program Previewer, feel free to go and have a look at it. Feel free to go and have a bit of a play around. Take it for a test drive.

When you're done with it, if you have, say, got a program and you've gone through and you've found all the bits and pieces that you want and you've got a nice description, important to remember that the information that you put into the Program Previewer does not go across to your actual AIS. It’s like a practice tool. So, what you can do - and again, you can probably just see down the bottom there - we’ve got a print button. Now, that print button, it allows you to - now, you can save to PDF, can’t you, Tim, as well as print it out?

TIM LIU

Yeah, definitely. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just like any other webpage, you could definitely do that.

CHRIS RICHES

So if you've done a bit of work and you've gone through and you're pretty much happy with all the bits and pieces that you've selected - the categories, the descriptions, and all that sort of stuff - save it up, get it in a PDF, print it out.

And then when you go and do your AIS, that’s another little bit of information that you've got in front of you, and it'll allow you to whip through this really quickly and with a minimum of fuss.

Now, that’s the Program Previewer. What we’re going to do is we’re going to toddle back to have a look at the slides again. Now, that means I can take control again, doesn't it? Goodness me. Let’s see what we can do here. All righty. There we go. Look at that, beautiful. All right. Cool.

Now, that’s the Program Previewer. So, from there - let's see. I’m just trying to get things working. Here we go.

That was one part of the equation, the programs part is sort of one part of the equation.

We hope that that little bit of a run-through has helped you out and provided a little bit of clarity, a little bit of context on what's going on. Now, the charity’s providing information through the program section of the AIS. That's sort of one side of the coin.

The other side of the coin is how we at the ACNC are going to display this information and display it in a - probably in a good way. And this is where the Charity Register comes in.

Again, you’ll be familiar with the Charity Register. It contains information about Australia’s registered charities.

Now, it's free for members of the public to search – available to everyone. The information is provided to us through charities’ responses to the AIS.

Now, of course by law, we can only publish certain types of information on the register. So that’s an important caveat to remember. Each listing on the charity register shows details about a charity, its purposes, names of the people involved running the charity, financial information, annual reporting, all that sort of stuff.

It’s used already in all manner of ways, and it's already available, it's already up there. The information that charities provide to us through the AIS already appears on the Charity Register.

So, we know that members of the public, funders, possible grant makers, perhaps philanthropists, possible volunteers, all of them have a bit of a look at the register and I guess try and find out a little bit more about some of the groups on there, some of the charities on there, some of the work that they do.

So, with all that in mind, how are we going to display this information that we’ve gained through charities answering these programs questions? How are we going to help showcase this information to potential supporters and donors and volunteers?

So, look. What we’re going to do is, again, we’re going to do a quick switchy screen, and Tim’s going to show us a little bit of an idea about the alterations and the changes that we’re making to the Charity Register in the very near future and how things will look. So as you can see on the screen, we’re ready to go. I’ll let Tim do some talking.

TIM LIU

Yeah. Thanks, Chris. So this is a live example from a charity called the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of New South Wales. So if you scroll down on to the overview page, you will see that all the charity programs are displayed here.

So this charity has provided us with 10 different programs, which is the maximum available. If a member of the public or a donor wants to see more information, they click on this link and they're taken to the 2020 AIS page. So that’ll contain all the beneficiaries for each of the programs as well as further information on the program locations and classifications.

Now, at the moment, the members of the public or donors cannot search based off a charity’s programs. However, we’re working to improve the search functionality of our website to include this.

So in the future, our hope is that anyone can log on to our website and say, “I want to look for a charity that operates in a certain area and has a certain classification.” So for example, I want to help an animal shelter that operates in Goulburn. What we expect is that the search will dig through all the programs provided, and we’ll be able to provide a tailored list to each member of the public with their relevance, and then that’ll help to drive transparency in the sector but also provide charities with the opportunity to showcase what they do, where, and maybe even increase some of their revenue to better achieve their purposes.

CHRIS RICHES

We can already just apply that description and what we’d see up in the screen there. We can already sort of start seeing how this could be a major benefit to charities.

So charities - but just have the charities have to do the AIS. So the information that they provide through the AIS already appears on the Charity Register, so this isn’t any extra work or anything for this benefit that will occur. This is the work or the effort that you would normally put into your AIS, maybe a little bit extra work just to make sure you've got the information about your programs and all that.

But that will - when the time comes, that will appear on the Charity Register. And that tailored search is going to allow people to - I want to volunteer for, as you said, Tim, a group in Goulburn that does x, y, and z, and very simply, you can jump in and you can see - it makes it very easy to get in touch with people or makes it very easy to I guess narrow down your list to provide some support or even just make a phone call and see if anyone’s interested in gaining a volunteer or two.

So this sort of tailored search is going to be a massive help for charities because information that we will be gaining from them, that’ll be showcased in a, say, better way to allow people to search it more easily. So we’re going to - I think we might quickly jump out of that. Was there anything else on there, Tim, that you wanted to highlight?

TIM LIU

No. Just be aware that it may take up to 24 hours for the register to update with any information. But it is current, and it will be up to date.

CHRIS RICHES

Yeah. Now, one thing - I know you alluded to this, Tim. The work in just making those changes to the register is ongoing at the moment. It’s not done. People who enter their program information, it's not going to appear straight up on their list, on their page now?

TIM LIU

Yeah. So it will take a little bit of time for that information to transfer. It generally takes less than 24 hours.

And as Chris mentioned, when we talk about the search functionality, we’re hoping to have that developed hopefully within the next year or so so that you can try it out yourself and see what happens.

CHRIS RICHES

Okay. Cool. Now, we might do a quick switch over again and get back to my slides. All righty. Okie dokie. There we go.

Now, after all that - and we’ve had a bit of a look through the bits and pieces - we’ve got some quick little tips usually we go through, maybe half a dozen.

We haven't really got half a dozen because we’ve only got probably three or four on this one because most of it was pretty straightforward and self-explanatory.

But the first tip that we would provide is that obviously, charities have to fulfil their own obligations to us. That includes their Annual Information Statement. Really, that should go without saying, but again, doing your AIS is a key part of both individual and collective charity transparency. And really straight up just good governance as well.

What's our second tip, Tim?

TIM LIU

Yeah. So the second one is to really take advantage of the Program Previewer that we’ve got on our website. Take the time to figure out the right classifications and beneficiaries for your programs.

Doing that little bit of practice work now will help make filling in the AIS even easier, and you can even print it off to show to the board or any other responsible people if you just want a second opinion.

But using that tool will really make things easier for you.

CHRIS RICHES

Okay. And the third tip that we’ve got is again, just having I guess this attitude of using the AIS, using your Charity Register listing, which the AIS, you're obligated to do.

And the register listing, which is free and open to everyone, use it to best benefit your charity and to showcase its work and its programs. Don’t be afraid of linking people to your Charity Register page on your website, perhaps. Or pointing them to it. So just remember that. That's well worth remembering.

Now, we’ve sort of reached the end of our formal presentation today. We’re, again, recording this webinar, recording and the slides that you're seeing with the presentation as well as the run-through of the registering of Program Previewer. That's going to be available on our website in the coming day or two.

We’ll, again, send out an email to those who’ve registered with some links and references and that sort of stuff as well as links to the recording.

Now, before we do go, we have had questions coming through. Matt and Gulnaar have been typing away in the background helping people out. We’ve had some come through both before and during the session.

One that we have been asked - I might throw Tim on this one - is when you're filling in that section of the Program Previewer or the - sorry, the program section of the AIS, are you able to provide a program - say, I guess, with the same classification but different beneficiaries?

Is that something you can do? Is there any limitations or specifics that you need to know about, Tim?

TIM LIU

Yeah. You can definitely do that, Chris.

I guess the only limitation is that you're only able to classify one program with one particular subject. However, certain charities might want to report differently.

So the first program, let's say they're dealing with homeless again, might have their beneficiaries as only veterans and their families, and then a location as a CBD somewhere.

The second program might have the exact same classification of homeless services, but this one might be targeted towards those who are living in poverty. So we’re definitely allowing charities with some flexibility to report on their programs.

CHRIS RICHES

So if there’s subtle differences, they sort of cover generally the same ground, but there’s subtle differences between maybe what some of the objectives of a program are, we’re keen to hear that from a charity through their responses, yeah?

TIM LIU

Yeah, definitely.

CHRIS RICHES

Now, is there - have there been other, I guess, bits and pieces that have been floating around when people have been looking at the Program Previewer or maybe looking at the programs section of the AIS that we would like to or that you would like to emphasise, Tim?

Or is there more just a general ‘take some time over it’ type attitude?

TIM LIU

Yeah. You’re right, Chris. So we definitely encourage any feedback a charity has in terms of how they've found providing the information on their programs.

And we do have a 2020 AIS survey that we do ask charities to complete. We want as much feedback as we can to, I guess, understand any issues that are occurring.

But at a - I guess a broader sense, we are hopeful that it is a simple, easy process for charities to show their wares, for lack of a better term. But if there’s any issues that you've got, you can always contact us, and we’ll be more than happy to assist you with them.

CHRIS RICHES

No problems, no problems. Yeah. That AIS survey too, once you've gone through and done your AIS and completed the online process there, there’s a link to that survey. And look, it's relatively simple. It’s probably about five to 10 minutes’ work.

And I know that answering questions after answering already some questions can be a little bit of a drag at times, but again, it's something that provides the ACNC with some good information and a little bit of direction on how we can make the process continue to be more streamlined, easier to do, and offer some options for general comment from charities about their experiences with the process itself.

I think we’re going to be a touch early today, but this is all right. Because for many of you, it might be lunchtime. But we might wander - we might wrap things up there and we might wander off.

On the screen right now are some of the ways that you can stay in touch with us. We’ve got the website, obviously, charitable purpose monthly that comes out - webinars, podcasts, and all of that sort of stuff.

Feel free to see where we are on social media, on YouTube, and all that sort of thing.

A big thank you to everyone who has wandered in and registered and turned up today to enjoy the webinar.

A big thank you also to Tim for leading us through parts of the programs and the registering and all that. Thank you very much for that, Tim.

TIM LIU

No problems, Chris. And I do hope that people attending did find some value in helping completing the programs section of the AIS.

CHRIS RICHES

And if, again - I was going to say thank you to both Matt and to Gulnaar, who have been answering questions. If there’s questions that you're interested in asking, go for it. We’ll stay around for a few more minutes just to make sure those ones are answered.

Again, if they aren't or if you've got something that you think about in two days’ time, that email address on the screen there, education@acnc.gov.au, feel free to drop us a line there as well.

So, also, this is our last webinar for 2020. We would all like to thank everyone who’s come along today but also through the year, for registering, for tuning in, for continuing to support this part of the ACNC’s educational work.

It’s something that we really appreciate and really, really value. And also, just thank you to everyone around the ACNC that has jumped in to share their knowledge, to help present, to provide information on all of the topics and bits and pieces that we’ve covered during our webinars throughout 2020.

We will have new - I guess a new timetable and new bits and pieces for webinars next year. They're being finalised and scheduled and all of that sort of stuff now. Keep an eye out on the website, acnc.gov.au/webinar.