Finances of 23,000 Charities Made Public
Wednesday, 29th April 2015 at 5:06 pm
For the first time the financial information of nearly 23,000 Australian charities has been released to the public.
The national charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), announced today that it was publishing the charities’ financial details.
The public can access the information that has been provided by registered charities as part of their 2014 Annual Information Statements on the Charity Register.
ACNC Commissioner, Susan Pascoe, said the purpose of publishing charities’ financial information on the Charity Register was to increase transparency.
“To date, the Charity Register has received over half-a-million views, highlighting that it is indeed a useful and popular resource amongst donors,” Pascoe said.
“For the first time members of the public have been able to search a register to see if a charity is indeed registered, and then find out what it does, where it operates, the people who run it, the rules it needs to follow, and now, its financial information.”
Pascoe said the ACNC had also published a new factsheet on interpreting the data.
“While we encourage the public and donors to use the Charity Register as a resource to help them make informed giving decisions, it is also important to understand how to interpret the information available,” she said.
“Comparing charities’ financial information will be of interest to some donors and members of the public, however there are a number of factors that need to be considered, and the factsheet covers a number of these.
Pascoe said the information factsheet built on earlier work by the ACNC in conjunction with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and social impact analyst Emma Tomkinson.
“Administration costs have always been a point of interest for donors and researchers,” she said.
“Our work with QUT’s Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies aims to explain administration costs and why they are not a comprehensive or reliable measure of a charity’s work and its outcomes.
“Instead we encourage members of the public and donors to consider charity impact – the changes the charity has produced in an individual or community through its work – alongside an assessment of its governance and financial management.”
To search the ACNC Charity Register, visit acnc.gov.au/findacharity.
The factsheets can be found here.