Growth and Change in Australia’s Charities
23 May 2018 at 5:15 pm
The total number of charities in Australia decreased between 2014 and 2016, according to the charity regulator’s first comparative report analysing changes over multiple years.
Growth and Change in Australia’s Charities: 2014 To 2016, is a sub-report of the Australian Charities Report 2016, which assessed the Annual Information Statements of more than 45,000 charities over three years to identify trends in income, workforce, location and activities.
It found that across the three years, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) revoked the charity status of 2,600 more organisations than it registered, with 11,698 charities revoked compared to 9,044 new charities.
The latest report, published on Tuesday by ACNC in partnership with the Centre for Social Impact and the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, also found that donations and bequests to registered charities grew by almost 15 per cent in that time period.
ACNC commissioner Dr Gary Johns said he welcomed the research and its insights into the sector.
“The key takeaway from this report is the incredible generosity of the Australian community,” Johns said.
“Between 2014 and 2016, which covers three reporting periods for registered charities, the value of donations and bequests increased by $1 billion.
“Overall, charity income increased from $110 billion in 2014 to $121 billion in 2016, providing an additional $11 billion for charitable activities here in Australia and abroad.
“The amount of money charities spent to deliver their services also grew – up 12 per cent over the three years.”
The research also found that with increased income charities were hiring more staff, with the number of paid employees increasing by 4 per cent.
Johns said the charity sector was one of the largest employers in Australia.
“Registered charities employ almost 1.2 million people – second only to the retail industry,” he said.
“And while paid employees are entirely necessary for charitable work, it is also pleasing that 2.9 million people volunteer their time for charities across the country.”
The research confirmed that the most common type of charity in Australia was religion, followed by education and research.
According to Johns, approximately 30 per cent of Australia’s charities stated in 2016 that their main activity was advancing a religion, which was broadly consistent with 2014.
“Charities that fall under the category of education and research, for example non-government schools and universities, are the second most common at 19 per cent. Again, this is consistent with 2014,” he said.
“What these figures show is that the charity sector is fairly stable in terms of the services that are being delivered in the community.”
To see the full report visit the website.