Australian Charities Report 2018 now available

Donations to charities rose to $10.5 billion in 2018, an increase of $600 million on the previous year, according to the latest Australian Charities Report, published last week by Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).

Charity revenue grew by 6.4% to $155.4 billion, significantly more than the Australian economy in the same period (1.9%).

The ACNC report, which is based on the most current available charity data from 48,000 registered charities, revealed the sector employed 10% of Australians. Despite a drop in net income and an increase in expenses, Australian charities operated at a surplus, supported by substantial assets.

“The data shows the charity sector was in a strong position leading into this year’s current crises. Many charities had reserves and investments as well as diversified sources of revenue to support financial viability,” said ACNC Commissioner the Hon Gary Johns in a media release last week.

Overall, only 6.8% of charity revenue came from donations, the majority (47%) came from government, including grants, followed by revenue from providing goods and services (34%).

Volunteer numbers across the sector increased to 3.7 million, up 12% on the previous year’s figure of 3.3%.

Charities spent $81.1 billion on employee expenses, up 8% on the previous year’s  figure of $74.8 billion.

Most charities were small (66%) generating less than $250,000 in revenue, followed  by  large (18%) with revenue of over $1 million, and medium (16%) with  revenue  of $250,000 or more but under $1 million.

The most common activities for charities included religious activities, primary and secondary education, grant-making, social services and aged care services.

The Australian Charities Report analyses information the ACNC receives from charities in their Annual Information Statement. The report’s key findings include the total combined income and expenses of charities, a summary of what they do, who they help, and where they operate.

You can read the Australian Charities Report 2018 (and previous editions) on the ACNC website at