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This report profiles almost 19,000 of Australia’s smallest charities registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC), each of which reported an income of less than $50,000 in 2015.

Key findings

In 2015, 37.1% of Australia’s 50,908 charities had an income under $50,000. Together, these 18,892 extra small charities had:

• Total income of $301.2 million; total expenses of $361.3 million

• Total assets worth $5.0 billion, with net assets worth $4.5 billion after liabilities

• 26,177 paid staff employed and a total of 436,234 volunteers.

Among Australia’s extra small charities, 3.8% reported no income for 2015; 38.7% had incomes greater than zero but less than $10,000 a year.

Four in five extra small charities operated in only one state or territory; 7.2% of extra small charities operated overseas.

Most extra small charities reported performing an activity in the reporting period (91.2%), that is, relatively few were ‘dormant’ in 2015.

• Charities with no income were less likely to report an activity (63.3%).

• As with charities of all sizes, the most common main activity for extra small charities was religion (30.6%).

• However, extra small charities were more likely than average to report that their main activity was in social services (13.9%), culture and recreation (10.5%) and as philanthropic intermediaries (8.8%).

As with other charities, around half of extra small charities reported supporting the ‘general community in Australia’ (48.7% of extra small charities), while large proportions also reported helping ‘people of all ages’ (34.5%), ‘women’ (31.8%) and ‘men’ (30.0%).




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