Key findings Australian Charity Report

Key findings from the Australian Charity Report 2016 

Australian charities have reported $142.8 billion in revenue in the past year, according to new research launched by assistant minister Michael Sukkar.

The Australian Charities Report 2016 examined the 2016 annual reports to the ACNC of more than 52,000 charities.

Key findings were:

  • Registered charities had a total revenue of $142.82 billion
  • Charities that provided education services, such as universities and non-government schools, had the largest annual revenue.  The group made up 18.6 per cent of the total number of charities but accounted for 45 per cent of the sector’s total revenue
  • Charity revenue was generated through membership fees, user-pays services, and other income sources (49.7 per cent), government grants and contract payments (43 per cent), and donations and bequests (7.3 per cent)
  • The most common charity type is religious (31 per cent).  However, the group takes in on 6.6 per cent of the sector’s total revenue
  • Most (67 per cent) of registered charities are small, their annual revenues less than $250,000
  • Big charites with revenue of a million dollars and more make up 17 per cent of charities, medium-sized ($250,000 – $1 million) 16 per cent, and small ($50,000 – $250,000) 67 per cent
  • Charities employ 10.6per cent of Australian workers
  • 49.6 per cent of charities have no paid staff
  • On average, each charity has 58 volunteers; in total, there are 2.9 million volunteers
  • Over half of all charities operate in either New South Wales (39.7 per cent) or Victoria (31.1 per cent)
  • Only a small number (8.4 per cent) of charities help communities overseas. The top 10 countries in which charities assist are: India, the Philippines, New Zealand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, United States, Thailand, Fiji and Nepal.

The Australian Charities Report was produced by the ACNC and the Centre for Social Impact and the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.  The full report and an interactive data cube can be found at

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