ACNC report on Australia’s smallest charities.

The big guys get most of the attention but there are 19,000 charities in Australia with income of less $50,000. Despite not being over-run with cash, according to a recent report by the ACNC, many of them “perform highly specialised and localised activities in their communities, and there tends to be a high levels of volunteer engagement”. Most of them (87%) receive no income from the government, relying mainly on donations and commercial income.

The contribution of volunteers to these charities is tremendous – they were supported by a total of 436,234 volunteers during the year, an average of 27 each. 4 out of 5 extra small charities have no paid staff at all.

The report isn’t just a dry list of statistics – though much of that is fascinating. It also contains a selection of stories on some of the charities to give a human face to them – and also to help us recognise just who these small charities are. Amongst those profiled are the Diamond Creek Men’s Shed, providing a safe and trusting environment for the men of that area to engage in conversations; Living Child in Perth supports women in PNG during pregnancy and childbirth; Yarra Foundation was founded by a group of Iranian immigrants to help disadvantaged children in their home country with education; Brave Foundation, one of the few national charities of this size, supports teenage parents throughout Australia with a small network of volunteers.


ACNC Small Charities Info Graphic


If you’re working with one of these extra small charities, we salute you. For many, your reporting needs will be simple but if you need better tools, most of you will qualify for a donation of Calxa through Connecting Up or Tech Soup.