New report on our smallest charities

Australia’s smallest charities account for more than a third of the charity sector, according to a new ACNC report.

Australia’s Smallest Charities was produced by the commission in collaboration with the Centre for Social Impact and the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.  Australia’s Smallest Charities is part of an annual analysis of annual information statements filed by charities of all sizes.

ACNC commissioner Susan Pascoe highlighted the significant contribution that ‘extra small’ charities make to the sector and the wider community.

‘There are almost 19,000 extra small charities in Australia – that is, charities with annual incomes under $50,000,’ Ms Pascoe said.

‘Extra small charities account for 37 per cent of charities […] and make an important contribution to the local community.

‘These charities in particular often provide more specialised, locally-focused services – and […] communities appreciate their hard work and dedication.’

The report, which includes case studies from seven of Australia’s smallest charities, highlights the variety of activities undertaken and the causes supported.

More than two-thirds of ‘extra small’ charities operate with volunteers only compared with only 39 per cent of all charities.  More than 400,000 people donate their time and expertise to ‘extra small’ charities.

They report a combined income of more than $300 million in 2015 and held assets worth more than $5 billion.

Australia’s Smallest Charities and the Australian Charities Report 2015 are available for downloading at

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