First Not-for-Profit Comprehensive Research Report by Curtin University

Dan Keller Member Evolution Sales Manager

The first comprehensive evidence based analysis of Australian charities has been released, and the findings reveal diversity and previously unknown facts from within the sector. The analysis of charities was drawn from 38,341 Annual Information Statements submitted in their first year of reporting to The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) up to 30th June 2014. The report and findings is the first single source of evidence based research for the charity sector.

The Curtin University findings reveal interesting facts from within the sector and include the following:

Those Experiencing Reporting Burdens:

  • 10% of charities experienced an 80% total administrative burden.
  • One in 5 charities reported spending more than 100 paid staff hours (or 2.5 weeks) reporting in the last year for Commonwealth and State and Territory reporting obligations.

Employment of staff/ volunteers:

  • Almost 1 million people are employed across the NFP sector.
  • Just over half 56% of charities had one or more full time staff members.
  • 10% of charities accounted for 90% full time jobs and nearly $90 billion of income in the sector.
  • 75% of small charities do not employ full time staff.
  • The peak number of volunteers employed by organisations was between 5-19.

Charitable Activities:

  • A third of the charities included the advancement of education and 32% aimed to advance religion
  • Almost 70% of charities worked in one or more areas in addition to their main charitable activity
  • A broad range of activities were undertaken from 2012-2013 ranging from community development, religion, research activities to animal protection, emergency relief and international pursuits.

Charitable activites

Size and Income Classification

Under the ACNC Act the classification of small, medium and large charities depend on the financial year and their total revenue generated during that period. Small charities are classified with earning less than $250,000. Those between $250,000 and $1 million are medium and large charities are above $1 million in revenue.

The 2012-13 reporting period found that 67% of reporting charities were small, 16% medium and 17% large.

Size and Income Classification