Charities watchdog warns residents to only donate to legitimate organisations

BALLARAT residents are being warned to make sure any Easter charitable donations go to legitimate organisations.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) has urged people to check the nation’s first free online database of more than 60,000 registered charities to check who the charity benefits before giving away any money.

Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal area manager Ray Trounson said collectors in the Ballarat region would be easily identifiable today for people keen to donate.

“All of our guys will be in uniform or CFA gear and will have ID,” Mr Trounson said.

“There shouldn’t be any shonky ones out there.”

ACNC assistant commissioner Murray Baird said organisations appearing on the register – including the Good Friday Appeal – provided reports which were publicly available and were monitored for good governance and financial management.

“Australians are among the most generous people in the world per-capita when

it comes to making donations to worthy causes,” Mr Baird said.

“The concern we hear from donors is: ‘does the money go to the right place?’ The register is a great resource for anyone wanting to give this Easter but may not know who to donate to.”

The register was launched last July and Mr Baird said its popularity showed there was a need for the information.

“While on the whole the charity sector is made up of good people with honest intentions, it’s encouraging to see that Australians do proactively check that their money is going to where they would like it to,” he said.

• The register is available at acnc.gov.au/findacharity.

fiona.henderson@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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