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ACNC annual report unveiled


20 October 2021 at 2:39 pm
Luke Michael
The report sets out the charity commission’s achievements during a year of significant change and uncertainty


Luke Michael | 20 October 2021 at 2:39 pm


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ACNC annual report unveiled
20 October 2021 at 2:39 pm

The report sets out the charity commission’s achievements during a year of significant change and uncertainty

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission has released its latest annual report, showcasing the sector’s resilience amid the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. 

Tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, the ACNC Annual Report 2020-21 examined the commission’s work over the previous financial year.

It highlighted the commission’s major achievements including publishing the Australian Charities Report, reviewing three large charities involved in the recovery efforts for the 2020 bushfires, and implementing changes from the government’s response to the ACNC legislation review.

Commissioner Dr Gary Johns expressed gratitude to ACNC staff for their work over the year, while also praising the charity sector for continuing to serve the community in difficult circumstances.

“The pandemic is forcing much of the work of Australian charities online and reducing their ability to raise funds, engage volunteers and meet increased demands for services,” Johns said.

“Despite these challenges, the sector showed great resilience and continued to deliver essential services through thousands of programs delivered by churches, schools, hospitals, and local charities across Australia.”   

Johns was also pleased by the rise in searches on the ACNC’s Charity Register. In 2020-21, there were more than 4.2 million searches, up from 3.2 million the previous financial year.

He said this showed its value for key stakeholders such as the public, charities and donors.

“The register is a valuable source of information about charities for people working in the sector and for Australians who support it,” he said. 

“The 4.2 million register searches reflect the growing awareness of it as an important source of information and a tool to verify registered charities.”

Johns said the commission recently added a new way for charities to provide information about their programs on the register, and that this will be followed by further improvements.

“Soon the register’s search features will be enhanced to allow donors and supporters to easily find organisations doing the type of work they are interested in supporting, and to allow charities to showcase their incredible work,” he said. 

Other key highlights over 2020-21 from the report include:

  • There were 2,001 concerns received about charities, a slight dip on the previous year’s figure of 2,102. 
  • There were 76 investigations finalised, compared with 79 finalised the year prior.
  • From these 76 investigations, 13 charities had their registrations stripped for serious and ongoing non-compliance.
  • The commission processed 5,886 charity registration applications, of which 2,659 were successful.

You can see the full report here.


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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