New Rules for Small Charities Released
3 March 2016 at 2:53 pm
The national charity regulator has released a new set of governance rules for small charities.
The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), together with Justice Connect Not-for-profit Law, has developed a set of template rules to help small unincorporated charities with their governance.
ACNC Assistant Commissioner General Counsel, Murray Baird, said the new template rules were developed to address a need in the Not for Profit sector.
“Clear documents or ‘rules’ not only assist good governance in a charity but also assist with registration as a charity with ACNC,” Baird said.
“However, we found that there were a significant number of small unincorporated organisations applying to be registered with us that we’re having difficulty providing documents to establish the requirements for charity registration.”
Baird said the ACNC had received a number of requests for template governing rules, often from small unincorporated charitable organisations with limited assets and run predominantly by volunteers.
“To address this issue we developed these templates rules for organisations to use for developing their own rules,” he said.
“The rules provide a starting point for organisations which they can adapt to suit their own needs and circumstances.
“Until now, an easy-to-use set of rules that meets ACNC and legal requirements has not been available.”
Baird said the new template rules were developed in consultation with the sector.
“These template rules were developed after consultation with a number of government agencies, including state and territory consumer affairs bodies and a number of professional advisors,” he said.
He said the rules would also help charities with good governance.
“These rules will help give some certainty about how charities are run and set out procedures that everyone involved can rely on,” he said.
Juanita Pope, Director of Not-for-profit Law at Justice Connect, which contributed to the development of the rules, said the new rules would ease the burden on small charities.
“Small member-based organisations seeking ACNC charity registration can access the template rules free-of-charge, which means they can spend more of their limited resources and time on achieving their mission,” Pope said.
“Justice Connect Not-for-profit Law is delighted to have the opportunity to work with the ACNC to provide this resource for small unincorporated Not for Profit organisations who are seeking charity registration. Our collaboration on this project demonstrates the productive way the ACNC works with sector-based organisations to support good governance and regulatory compliance by charities.
“The template highlights the clauses that will assist the organisation to meet ACNC registration requirements and will make the registration process easier for all involved.”
The templates rules and factsheet can be found here.