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Is your not-for-profit a charity? 

This document outlines the characteristics of a charity and explains who determines whether an organisation is a charity. Tax concessions and endorsement requirements for charities are also discussed.

Last updated 11 October 2016

To be a charity, your organisation must:

  • be not-for-profit
  • have a charitable purpose
  • be for the public benefit (other than where the charitable purpose is the relief of poverty).

Examples of charities include:

  • religious groups
  • not-for-profit aged care homes
  • homeless shelters
  • disability service organisations
  • universities and colleges
  • animal welfare societies
  • artistic or cultural groups.

See also:

Who determines charitable status?

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) registers organisations as charities. Registration as a charity is voluntary. However, your organisation must be registered with the ACNC to access any charity tax concessions.

If your organisation was endorsed by us as a charity before 3 December 2012, your organisation is automatically registered with the ACNC and you do not have to re-register.