Take Survey
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
NEWS  |  Communities, General, Research, Volunteering

Charities Working Overseas Dominate Volunteers – Report


Thursday, 30th July 2015 at 12:00 pm
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist
Despite making up only 15 per cent of Australian charities, those that operate overseas are responsible for more than a third of the country’s two million volunteers, according to a new report by Curtin University.

Thursday, 30th July 2015
at 12:00 pm
Xavier Smerdon, Journalist


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Charities Working Overseas Dominate Volunteers – Report
Thursday, 30th July 2015 at 12:00 pm

Despite making up only 15 per cent of Australian charities, those that operate overseas are responsible for more than a third of the country’s two million volunteers, according to a new report by Curtin University.

The Australian Charities Involved Overseas report, commissioned by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) and released yesterday, found that charities involved in overseas aid receive more support from volunteers than those that are not.

Assessing the data provided by 38,341 charities that submitted a 2013 Annual Information Statement (AIS) by 30 June 2014, the report found that 5,816 (15 per cent) of all Australian charities were involved overseas in some way.

Only 0.6 per cent, or 218, of Australian charities considered “overseas activity” to be their main activity.

According to the report, authored by Professor David Gilchrist and Penny Knight from the Curtin Not for Profit Initiative, charities involved overseas received help from a disproportionate amount of volunteers.

“Over 93 per cent report being supported by volunteers compared with 86 per cent of all charities,” the report said.

“The total number of volunteers for the 5,816 charities that are involved overseas and providing data on volunteers was 677,382, which represents more than a third of the estimated two million volunteers for all reporting charities.”

“There were 604 charities involved overseas and 258 charities operating overseas that report having more than 100 volunteers. However, given that these charities often provide a range of services within and outside Australia, it is not clear whether these volunteers are working on overseas or domestic activities.”

The report was written as a supplement to the ground-breaking Curtin Charities 2013 Report, released last year.

It also reiterated calls for charities operating or sending funds overseas to be sure they were not funding terrorism.

“The majority of charities that operate principally in Australia have little to worry about when sending occasional gifts or providing modest resources overseas, particularly when dealing with reputable organisations in other countries,” the report said.

“However, hardship and political instability often go hand in hand and, for charities sending funds to or operating in some of the most deprived or volatile areas of the world, there is risk that these resources could be misdirected or misappropriated.

“The tax concessions held by charities, the opportunity to make tax deductible donations and their frequent movement of funds overseas can also make the Australian based operations vulnerable to exploitation. It is important for those responsible for governing charities to be aware of the potential for their charity to inadvertently breach regulations, for fraudulent or even criminal activity to be perpetrated upon them, and to ensure their organisation complies with national and international laws and regulations.”

The ACNC said in the report that it would “act swiftly and firmly where vulnerable people or significant charitable assets are at risk”.

“For charities operating overseas, our expectation is that they understand the risks they face, including the risks of being misused or allowing funds to be diverted for non-charitable purposes,” the ACNC said.

“There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach and it is up to charities to adopt appropriate practices to mitigate their risks.”

The full report can be downloaded here.


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.


Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Drought Charities Welcome ACNC Probe Following Online Abuse

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 7th November 2018 at 5:33 pm

A Market by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet

Dr Gary Johns

Monday, 5th November 2018 at 5:00 pm

Who Wants to Commodify Charities?

David Crosbie

Thursday, 25th October 2018 at 8:48 am

POPULAR

Report Uncovers Shocking Abuse and Neglect of Adults With Disability

Luke Michael

Monday, 5th November 2018 at 5:29 pm

White Ribbon CEO Puts Hasty Departure Down to Culture Clash

Maggie Coggan

Monday, 12th November 2018 at 5:49 pm

Google Awards Millions to Groups Harnessing Technology For Change

Maggie Coggan

Friday, 2nd November 2018 at 5:50 pm

Government Backtracks on Cuts to Food Relief Charity

Maggie Coggan

Monday, 12th November 2018 at 5:42 pm

Take Survey
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

The social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!