The new Not-For-Profit regulator, the Australian Charities and
Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC), remains a hot
topic across the sector. With ramifications for every charity,
community cause, and religious organisation, as well as the economy
and the wider community, the new regulator has been on many
To gauge stakeholders' views and provide a platform for NFPs
and community organisations from across Australia to have their say
on the ACNC and other issues affecting the sector, Makinson &
d'Apice commissioned unbiased, independent research – and
the results are now in!
Makinson & d'Apice Partner, Bill d'Apice, said
"This was a big investment again this year on our part for the
benefit of the NFP sector."
Wide interest was confirmed when hundreds responded with
detailed comments and opinions on how they see the NFP landscape
and what they expect from the new regulator, the ACNC. Complete
anonymity meant responses were candid, without fear of
Bill d'Apice commented "It is interesting to see how
different constituencies responded. There are some widely divergent
"Our analysis shows which bodies are the most optimistic,
however each group has identified a series of specific positives
and negatives in terms of impacts on their own organisations and
for the wider community."
Bill d'Apice continued "Two thirds of respondents
believe there will be considerable benefit to the NFP sector as a
whole in getting to a national framework for fundraising
Almost half of the sector sees significant continuing
fundraising compliance burdens arising from different state regimes
in operation unless a national regime can be established.
Similarly, many respondents were sceptical that the ACNC could
achieve one of its stated intentions: to reduce compliance costs
and reporting burdens.
"We weren't surprised that there is strong demand for
further information and education for executives and managers of
NFPs about the ACNC", continued Bill d'Apice.
"Findings indicate that Government information is now much
more important to NFP organisations than a year ago. The sector
needs, wants, and looks to Government for more and clearer
information. The Commissioner of the ACNC has given every
indication so far that the ACNC will make the provision of
information to the sector and the general community a
Notably positive sentiment toward establishment of the ACNC has
abated somewhat since the firm's 2011 study. "Our 2011
findings showed that about 5% of organisations expected negative
effects from the advent of the ACNC, where now, around 15% see it
The research indicates 75% of religious and educational
institutions believe their own organisation is unlikely to benefit
from a national sector framework, and respondents commented that
the ACNC will not achieve the Commonwealth Government's stated
intention of streamlining administration of the NFP sector; rather,
it will create a whole new level of compliance for a sector without
the resources to respond.
Bill d'Apice said "While the ACNC has an objective of
increasing public confidence in the sector, the research suggests
the NFP sector does not think it will have any real impact on their
supporter and donor base."
He continued: "I am delighted that Makinson &
d'Apice continues to invest in research to make a further
contribution to informed debate. We'll be sharing research
results with the sector and the community."
This decision highlights the importance of clearly expressing when a party intends to be bound by an agreement.
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