25 September 2023

Volunteer work raises billions

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A new report from the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) has revealed that more than three million people in Australia volunteered to work for a registered charity in 2017 with $10 billion donated to their causes.

The ACNC’s latest Australian Charities Report analyses information the Commission receives directly from charities.

ACNC Commissioner, Gary Johns said the report, the fifth it had published, provided fascinating insights into the charity sector.

“For the second consecutive year, charities reported an increase in combined revenue,” Dr Johns said.

“This increase is likely attributable to additional Government funding. Compared to 2016, Government grants as a revenue source increased by $7 billion.”

He said that while donations and bequests decreased slightly compared to 2016, Australians were still ‘incredibly generous’, with nearly $10 billion donated or bequeathed in 2017.

The number of volunteers was another major finding of the report.

“The 2017 edition identified a significant increase in the number of people volunteering for a registered charity,” Dr Johns said.

“The number of volunteers increased to 3.3 million, up from 2.9 million in 2016. Nearly half of all charities are operated solely by volunteers.”

He said volunteer-run charities were also likely to be small.

“This year’s report found that 38 per cent of charities are ‘extra small’, with annual revenue of $50,000 or less,” Dr Johns said.

“Many of these extra small charities are likely to be religious groups with 30 per cent of charities reporting they were mostly involved in religious activities, while education and social services activities were also common.”

The ACNC’s full 27-page report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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