Australian Charities Report 7th Edition


The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) has released it’s Australian Charities report for 2021.

Released in May this year, the report is the 7th edition and focusses on data from 2019 received from Annual Information Statements of 48,000 Australian charities.

The report shows immediately prior to the bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic the sector was strong, with charities in operation for an average of 32 years, an increase in revenue of $10.5 billion and assets of more than $30 billion from the previous year.

See the full details on the ACNC website here

Highlights for Small Charities

  • Small charities – annual revenue of under $250,000
  • Medium charities – annual revenue of $250,000 or more but under $1 million
  • Large charities – annual revenue of $1 million or more


ACNC Charities report 7th 2021


ACNC charities by size data


Key Findings

  • In the 2019 reporting year, charity revenue grew by 6.8% – significantly more than the 2.2% growth of the Australian economy in the same period.
  • Australia’s charities, overall, operated at a surplus, supported by substantial assets.
  • Revenue was $166 billion in 2019 – an increase of $10.5 billion.
  • Donations rose to $11.8 billion in the 2019 reporting year – an increase of
    $1.3 billion from the previous year.
  • Assets increased by $30 billion to $354 billion.
  • Revenue from goods and services increased by $3.5 billion to $56.7 billion.
  • Government funding accounted for $78.1 billion, an increase of $4.4 billion.
  • Small charities (annual revenue less than $250,000) made up 65% of the sector, large charities (annual revenue of $1 million or more) made up 19%, and medium charities (annual revenue of $250,000 to $999,999) made up 16%.
  • Charities employed 1.38 million people – approximately 11% of total employment in Australia.
  • Volunteer numbers decreased by approximately 200,000 to 3.6 million.
  • More than half of all charities (51%) operated without any paid staff.
  • Charities spent $85.9 billion on employee expenses, up 6% on the previous year’s figure of $81.1 billion.
  • The most common activities for charities were religious activities and primary and secondary education.