It’s Time We Had a Not-for-Profit Sector Ombudsman

According to the most recent Australian Charities Report, in 2016 the Australian charities sector had income of $142.8 billion – that’s larger than Australia’s agriculture sector!

It employs 1.3 million people – that’s more than each of the retail trade, manufacturing, mining and construction sectors.

It’s supported by the generosity of Australians – 2.9 million people volunteer for charities and donations amount to $10.5 billion.

When we add in the broader not-for-profit (NFP) sector, these figures will be even bigger.

The NFP sector doesn’t just generate revenue and provide jobs – that’s not actually what it’s there for – it makes a vital contribution to building more inclusive, resilient and sustainable communities right across Australia, in so many diverse cause areas.

But despite its significance and the role it plays in our community, it lacks a champion within the Australian government.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) plays an important role supporting the charities sector in particular, the second object of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth) is to “support and sustain a robust, vibrant, independent and innovative not-for-profit sector”. But the ACNC is a regulator, and this object is about ensuring that it fulfils this role in a way that is responsive to the needs and expectations of the sector it regulates.

To view the full Pro Bono article, click here.

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