Charities make a vital contribution to the social and economic well being of the Australian society. History has shown that Australians are one of the most generous countries in the world when it comes to charitable giving.
In 2017, there are more than 54,000 charities operating in Australia. Most of us would have regular dealings with charities and not-for-profit organisations through sporting activities, churches, our children’s schools, animal welfare groups, our donations to international aid organisations, and so on.
In recent years, the introduction of the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission (ACNC) has brought in new legislation surrounding how charities should conduct their businesses, how directors should behave, and what processes charities need to have in place in order to function in a healthy way. Our commercial lawyers volunteer in a range of charities and not-for-profit organisations and are experienced in advising charities and board of directors in respect of:
- the preparation and amendment of an organisation’s Constitution;
- governance issues;
- property use and leasing issues;
- issues regarding meeting procedures; and
- Court or Tribunal actions.
The ACNC website contains very helpful fact sheets, guides and tips to empower and equip organisations and directors of organisations with practical knowledge about how to manage their charities well, in light of increasing call for accountability to maintain, protect and enhance public trust and confidence.
In Western Australia, many charities are still registered as ‘incorporated associations’ under the WA’s Association Incorporation Act. If that is the case, the incorporated association must also comply with the state legislation. The Association Incorporation Act was revised in 2016 and made it necessary for charities to review and amend their Constitution to take into account certain mandatory requirements. If you need more information about these changes, or if you wish to consider whether your organisation’s current Constitution complies, follow this link to the information page of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, or contact us to consult one of our commercial lawyers.
Our commercial lawyers are more than happy to undertake a health check for your charity to identify areas of your charity’s business that may require attention, and what compliance processes may need to be put in place.