Supporting charities through a turbulent year

The ACNC paused most compliance activity for charities in bushfire-affected areas earlier this year (ACNC website)

The latest charities commission annual report has been released, unveiling how the commission supported charities through a year of turbulent challenges. Source: Pro Bono News.

Tabled in Parliament on Friday, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission 2019-20 annual report highlighted the commission’s ability to work with governments across the country to respond to disasters and to support charities during crises.

In the midst of the bushfire crisis at the start of 2020, the ACNC paused most compliance activity for charities in bushfire-affected areas, unless there was a significant ongoing risk.

It also provided Annual Information Statement extensions for around 7,000 charities in those areas, and prioritised charity registration applications related to bushfire response.

An ACNC spokesperson told Pro Bono News it was important that the commission struck a balance between supporting charities, and regulating.

The report highlighted the work the ACNC did to assist charities to govern throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, by publishing news, information, and guidance on its website.

The ACNC also adjusted its approach to regulation by deferring the Annual Information Statement due date for more than 18,000 charities and suspending some investigations.

ACNC commissioner Dr Gary Johns said reducing the burden on charities during this time was critical, and that the worth of the charities sector was not something to be underestimated.


Charities commission unveils annual report (By Maggie Coggan, Pro Bono News

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