Frequently Asked Questions

Public charities are those tax-exempt non-profits recognized, they receive funding from the public at large (as opposed to private foundations that receive their funding from a limited number of sources, typically from interest earned on the corpus of an endowment). Financial support for public charities can proceed in the form of donations from individuals as well as earned income, and from contracts/grants from the government (for services the non-profits provides for the state/local or federal government), private foundations, corporate foundations, community foundations, donor-advised funds, and other non-profits. Public charities must demonstrate sufficient public support in order to maintain their favored tax status. Many organizations classified as public charities, such as churches, schools, and hospitals, provide services directly to their intended beneficiaries. Nevertheless, charitable non-profits can also help other public charities operate by providing financial support or other resources. Note that, grants to individuals (whether from a private foundation or a charitable non-profit) must be approved by the LAW.

The term "non-governmental organization" was first coined in the Charter of the United Nations in 1945. “NGO” is most often used to refer to a charitable non-profit that is operating outside the US. An NGO can be any kind of organization, provided that it is independent of government influence and is not organized for personal profit. Whereas, the term “non-profit” is the term used in the US to refer to organizations that are structured as non-profit corporations, whether or not they are also designated as tax-exempt by the IRS. Read more about the origin of the term NGO.

It’s good practice to thank your donors for any size gift, but surprisingly, a formal, written gift acknowledgment is only required by law for contributions over $250 and quid pro quo contributions. The IRS rules are explained. Donors, however, expect a receipt for donations of any size so they can claim a tax deduction for charitable contributions

Acknowledgements should include confirmation of the tax-exempt status of the non-profit, a description of the item(s) donated, the date of receipt, and whether or not the non-profit provided goods and services in exchange for the donation.

What causes interest you? Do you want to support an organization that is seeking the cure to a specific need? Are you passionate about ensuring there is arts education in schools? Do you want to protect the environment for future generations? Are you hoping to focus your generous gift locally, or nationally, or internationally? Try to identify a few non-profits with missions that best correspond with your priorities. Global Giving showcases many charitable causes around the world.
Then, get to know the organization. Visit their website and read whatever you can on the non-profit. Volunteering for the organization is a wonderful way to determine if the non-profit is one you want to support.

Naturally donors want to support a non-profit’s mission, but many don’t understand that incurring administrative costs is not bad – instead, those costs are essential for mission advancement. Nonetheless, when you make a donation to a non-profit, you can signal intent for that donation to be spent in a particular way. However, the most serviceable donation is often an unrestricted donation. This will allow the non-profit to allocate your donation to the area of greatest need. Sometimes applying that donation to an overhead expense can make program delivery more efficient. Don't hesitate to reach out to a non-profit before making a donation to ask how you can direct your donation to make the most impact.

There is no mystical language or process for restricting a gift. Donors may want to ask the non-profit whether it has a "gift acceptance" or "gift agreement" policy or template donor letter it would like the donor to use - if not, any written letter expressing the donor’s intent will do. However, it is always prudent for donors to discuss their intent for restricting a gift with the non-profit first, just to make sure the non-profit is able to honor the donor’s intent.

Yes, you will receive an email receipt immediately after donating and if you make a monthly gift you will receive a yearly tax receipt in the post every year.

We accept one-off donations by direct debit.

Be sure that you are donating to a charitable non-profit. Charitable non-profits may not engage in unjust election activities. There are non-charitable, organizations that may participate in such activities, such as social welfare organizations. When you read an article about "political non-profits," they are generally referring to something other than a charitable non-profit.

*for more information visit https://www.acnc.gov.au/

Yes, donations of $2 and over are tax deductible in Australia.

Tax-exempt organizations that file annual reports with the ATO/ACN Care required to share the three most recently filed TAX Form upon request. Many non-profits post them on their website. (You can read about the public disclosure requirement on the ATO/ACNC website). While some non-profits create a written document to thank donors or describe the organization's accomplishments in a certain year and may refer to those as “annual reports,” there is no federal or state requirement for charitable organizations to create such as a report.

Whatever is necessary to improve the organization's mission. There is no set percentage that would indicate that one non-profit is run any more effective than another. Overhead costs are investments in necessary infrastructure, including rent, paying staff, replacing old computers, repairing a leaky roof, etc. A better gauge of an efficient non-profit is its impact in the community.

There is no set amount that is right, or wrong. A non-profit is like any other employer and needs to pay competitive wages to attract and retain quality employees. As non-profits work to improve communities, they require leaders and staff with the right skills and expertise to accomplish the non-profit's mission. It is the responsibility of the Board of Directors to evaluate and set appropriate compensation for the CEO/Executive Director of the organization.

*for more information visit https://www.acnc.gov.au/

You can check the ATO/ACNC website which will help you confirm whether the organization is recognized as tax-exempt by the ATO/ACNC.

If you have concerns that a non-profit is acting unethically you can contact the charity regulator in the state where the non-profit is operating.
Filing a written complaint may cause your concerns to be examined, which may then trigger corrective action, as applicable.

There is a state charity official in every state that has authority to regulate and investigate charities that, among other things, divert charitable assets to private interests and/or are engaged in fraudulent fundraising. We encourage you to share your concerns with the state charity official in your state (or the applicable state(s) where the conduct is happening). If social media is involved the conduct may be of interest to more than one state’s charity official since social media messages across state lines.

*for more information visit https://www.acnc.gov.au/

Misclassification is one of the most common mistakes made by non-profit employers and may result in harsh penalties. The National Council of Non-profits provides guidance on exempt versus non-exempt classification issues, as well as tips for managing non-profit employees.

State law will determine whether or not your non-profit may take action via an email vote. Many state non-profit corporation laws require that corporate actions make only take action through methods that allow each board member to “hear” one another or "communicate concurrently". Consequently, in those states, a vote using email will not be legitimate. Knowing what your state permits is key.

You can send a written request for a duplicate copy to the ATO/ACNC, Exempt Organizations division. The ATO/ACNC generally takes a few weeks to respond. You should include the EIN number and name of the organization exactly as originally filed. Explain that you are writing to request a copy of the organization’s Determination Letter. Assuming that the organization is indeed tax-exempt and has filed annual reports with the ATO/ACNCyou should be able to pull all the information needed for the letter from a copy of the ATO/ACNC. We recommend that if your non-profit has a website.

There is no magic number or ratio. Each non-profit needs to analyze what cash is needed for its own operations.

A non-profit that is not yet recognized as tax-exempt by the ATO/ACNC may fundraise, but it may not tell donors that their contributions are tax-deductible – because they aren’t until the non-profit has received a determination of tax-exemption from the ATO/ACNC. So that contributions can be deductible to donors, some non-profits that are not-yet tax exempt (and some that are) seek a fiscal sponsor. Fiscal sponsorship is ideal for projects or organizations that have begun the filing process to become a charitable non-profit organization but have yet to receive official exempt status from the ATO/ACNC. Establishing a fiscal sponsorship allows those not-yet-exempt organizations to accept tax-deductible donations and begin to raise funds through their fiscal sponsor.

*for more information visit https://www.acnc.gov.au/

You can update your details on our Donor Update Form. Or, you can get in touch and someone on our Sydney based Supporter Services team will be able to help you.

Become A Volunteer

As Volunteer, you will learn not just about the needs of other people, you will also learn more about your own needs and you will observe that in helping others, you help yourself most of all. A Volunteer can be of any age since there is no age to begin with. No preferred social castes, salary specification, degree and the work experience. All that matter here is the dedication, sincerity and goodwill about the social cause that one does wholeheartedly. Another factor that require here is commitment to the sustained efforts with the organisation.” So if you wish to be a genuine part of this amazing journey for the social cause that we do.

Volunteer with us.