• Harm prevention charities

    Harm prevention charities conduct activities to promote the prevention or the control of behaviour harmful or abusive to human beings such as emotional abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, suicide, self-harm, substance abuse and harmful gambling.

    Gifts to public funds on the Register of Harm Prevention Charities may be tax deductible if the fund is a deductible gift recipient (DGR).

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    How to apply for entry on the register

    To apply to have your organisation's name listed on the Register of Harm Prevention Charities, you need to follow these steps.

    1. Obtain a copy of the Register of Harm Prevention Charities Guidelines 2014 – visit the Department of Social Services (DSS) websiteExternal Link and search for 'harm prevention charities'.
    2. Ensure that your institution and its fund satisfies the:  
      1. principal activity requirement
      2. public fund requirement
      3. requirements regarding not acting as a conduit and winding up.
       
    3. Obtain registration with the ACNC as a charity for:  
      1. your institution for the Register of Harm Prevention Charities
      2. your public fund (if it is an entity in its own right) for DGR endorsement.
       
    4. Obtain endorsement from us for your institution to access income tax exemption.
    5. Contact the Department of Social Services for an Application form for entry to the Register of Harm Prevention Charitable Institutions and endorsement as a deductible gift recipient. The form also includes the DGR endorsement application information that we need.
    6. Complete the application form and send it to DSS.

    If the Treasurer and the Minister for Social Services approve your organisation and its public fund for entry on the register, DSS will enter the date of approval on the application form and send it to us to process DGR endorsement. DSS will advise you of your organisation's date of entry on the register and you will received advice from us regarding your DGR endorsement.

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    Requirements for entry on the Register of Harm Prevention Charities

    The Secretary of the Department of Social Services (DSS) maintains the Register of Harm Prevention Charitable Institutions.

    The Treasurer and the Minister for Social Services decide if an organisation and its public fund is entered on the register. This decision is not made by us.

    The definitions of the requirements are found below.

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    Institution

    Your organisation must be an institution that is a charity, and not merely a fund. An entity will not be an institution if it is a trust that does one or both of the following:

    • merely manages trust property
    • holds trust property to make distributions to other entities.

    Principal activity

    The principal activity of your institution must be the promotion of the prevention or control of behaviour that is harmful or abusive to human beings.

    Behaviour that is harmful or abusive means one or more of the following:

    • emotional abuse
    • sexual abuse
    • physical abuse
    • suicide
    • self-harm
    • substance abuse
    • harmful gambling.

    Public fund

    Your institution must maintain a public fund to which all gifts of money or property and deductible contributions for the principal activity of the charity are made.

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    Ministerial rules

    To be eligible for DGR endorsement, the harm prevention charity must agree to comply with any rules that the Treasurer and the Minister for Social Services make to ensure that gifts made to the gift fund are used only for the principal activity of the charity.

    Not acting as a conduit

    The charity's principal activity must be the promotion of the prevention or the control of behaviour that is harmful or abusive to human beings. Charities wanting access to DGR endorsement will need to show that they have a policy of not acting as a mere conduit for the donation of money or property to other organisations, bodies or people.

    Winding up the public fund

    To be eligible for DGR endorsement, the charity needs to show that it has rules that require any surplus assets of the fund to be transferred to another fund that is on the Register of Harm Prevention Charities, in the event of the fund being wound up.

    Statistical information

    Your organisation must agree to provide the Secretary of DSS, within a reasonable period after the end of each income year, statistical information about gifts made to the public fund during that income year.

    Registered charity

    Before your organisation and its public fund can apply for entry on the Register of Harm Prevention Charities, your organisation must be registered with the ACNC as a charity.

    Endorsed as income tax exempt

    To be eligible for entry on the Register of Harm Prevention Charities, your organisation must be endorsed by us as an income tax exempt charity.

    This means:

    • it must have an Australian business number (ABN)
    • it must be a registered charity with the ACNC.

    Endorsement to access charity tax concessions, including income tax exemption, is separate to DGR endorsement.

    On the ACNC registration application form, you can also apply for endorsement with us to access charity tax concessions. However, do not apply for DGR endorsement with us on the ACNC registration application form.

    You apply for DGR endorsement with us when you apply for entry to the Register for Harm Prevention Charities.

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      Last modified: 12 Oct 2016QC 17697