What it means to be a Registered Charity

The ACNC is the independent, national charity regulator in Australia. We are registered with the ACNC.

Charities should ensure they are not misleading the public in relation to their administration costs and fundraising.

This includes statements regarding the use or destination of contributions as well as the need for donations.

For example, a charity should not solicit donations with a statement that ‘100% of contributions will benefit those in need’ if, in fact, a portion of donations will go towards the administrative costs of the charity.

Charities should also not be misleading when referring to studies or statistics to support the need for donations. For example, a charity should ensure there is a reasonable basis for any statistics quoted or research referred to for the purposes of soliciting donations.

Charities should also be transparent in relation to their fundraising arrangements, particularly where this impacts where contributions end up.

If charities make false or misleading statements – or act in a way that creates a false or misleading impression –they may contravene the Australian Consumer Law. This, in turn, may be a breach of the ACNC Governance Standards.

Further information on the Australian Consumer Law for charities and not-for-profits is available here and on the ACCC website.

The ACNC Charity Register contains information about Australia’s registered charities. You can search for information about a charity’s activities, beneficiaries and more. You can check on Registered Charities here: https://www.acnc.gov.au/charity