A landmark report released today by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has revealed that Australians gave $11.2 billion to charity last year, nearly two and a half per cent more than the year before.
ACNC Commissioner, Susan Pascoe AM, highlighted the report’s key findings and said the Australian Charities Report 2015 will challenge people’s perception of the charity sector.
“This new report shows that Australia’s charity sector is huge and appears to be growing, both in terms of its geographic spread, and its share of the Australian economy,” Ms Pascoe said.
“The charity sector in Australia has now grown by a further 2% and has annual turnover of $134.5 billion.
“When comparing charities with the rest of the economy, we found that the total income of the charity sector is equivalent to 8.3% of Australia’s GDP.
“The charity sector also has total assets of more than $267 billion.
“Thanks to the new Charities Report, we now know the sector is one of our largest employers, accounting for approximately 10% of Australia’s total workforce.
“Over 1.2 million Australians are employed by a registered charity, meaning the sector is second only to the retail industry.
The annual Australian Charities Report, the third of its kind, assessed the income, assets, expenses, and activities of Australia’s registered charities.
“According to the latest World Giving Index, Australia is the third most charitable country in the world,” Ms Pascoe said.
“This is supported by the new Australian Charities Report, which found that Australians donated $11.2 billion to charity – 2.4% more than the year prior.
“Additionally, we found that nearly three million Australians volunteered for a registered charity.”
The Chair of the ACNC Advisory Board and UNICEF Australia CEO, Tony Stuart, said the 2015 edition of the report would contribute to the community’s understanding of the sector.
“For the first time we are able to identify and track changes in the combined financial situation of Australia’s charity sector,” Mr Stuart said.
“This is an invaluable resource for policy makers, academics, and charities themselves.
“The Australian Charities Report 2015 clearly shows that this is an economically significant sector that provides vital services to our community.
“For example, the combined income of the charity sector is larger than the energy, water and waste industry, and the total value of the services charities provide exceeds $120 billion annually.
“Thanks to ACNC’s annual Australian Charities Report, we are now able to measure changes in the sector over time. Prior to the establishment of the ACNC in December 2012, this simply was not possible.”
The Australian Charities Report 2015 was produced in partnership by the ACNC and the Centre for Social Impact and the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.
Centre for Social Impact CEO, Dr Andrew Young, said that the 2015 report is the most comprehensive record to date of the Australian charity sector.
“For the first time the report calculates the size and shape of the whole of the sector with over 51,000 individual charities included,” Dr Young said.
“We are now able to start to understand change over time and explore indicators of financial sustainability.
“As we look to the future, this data is, and will increasingly be, crucial to our understanding of the evolution of the charity sector in the context of significant current and future reforms – for example in ageing, health care, disability and other fields of social services.”
Speaking at Mission Australia’s Surry Hills facility, Commissioner Pascoe also introduced the new Registered Charity Tick - a new logo to help donors easily identify charities registered with, and regulated by, the ACNC.
“Registered charities are transparent, accountable, and must meet the ACNC’s governance standards and reporting requirements,” Ms Pascoe said.
“This year we are helping donors identify registered charities, those that are under the watch of the ACNC, by providing them with the new Registered Charity Tick to use on their websites and fundraising tins and brochures.
“The Registered Charity Tick shows donors and the public, at a glance, that a charity is registered with the ACNC.
“In under two weeks 2,500 charities have already signed up to use it, including UNICEF Australia, CANTEEN, Cancer Council Australia, Youth off the Streets, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and of course, Mission Australia.
“Donors can find a wealth of information about registered charities, free of charge, on the ACNC’s Charity Register at acnc.gov.au/findacharity.”
Mission Australia CEO, Catherine Yeomans, welcomed the new Registered Charity Tick.
“Mission Australia is proud to be a registered charity,” Ms Yeomans said.
“We are eager to display the Registered Charity Tick on our website and when asking the public for donations, as it shows our commitment to transparency.
“We are proud of the work that we do at Mission Australia, and we couldn’t achieve such positive outcomes for vulnerable Australians without the community’s support.
“Christmas can be an especially difficult, stressful and sometimes isolating time for the people using our services. So it is always heart-warming to see the public’s generosity at this time of year.”
The full Australian Charities Report 2015 and interactive data cube can be found at australiancharities.acnc.gov.au.
More information about the new Registered Charity Tick is available at acnc.gov.au/registeredcharitytick.
ACNC Media Contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 0466 089 108.
Centre for Social Impact Media Contact:
Lyndal Stuart or 0400 017 330.