A charity is an institution or fund established and operated for altruistic purposes that the law regards as charitable.

A charity must be an entity that is:

  • a not-for-profit organisation
  • for the public benefit, other than when the charitable purpose is the relief of poverty
  • for a charitable purpose such as:
    • health services and research
    • help for disabled, sick, poor, destitute or unemployed people and their families
    • war relief for anywhere in the world
    • help for current or past members of the armed forces and their families
    • helping animals.

Is your organisation a charity? - Australian Taxation Office

Registering your charity to fundraise in South Australia

Organisations that collect for a charity must have a Collections for Charitable Purposes (CCP) licence.

You are automatically licensed to collect for charitable purposes in South Australia if you are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) and you have notified Consumer and Business Services (CBS).

Check if your interstate or overseas licence is recognised in SA

Register with the ACNC

Registration with CBS

Charities can choose to stay registered with CBS or register with the ACNC.

Charities that stay with CBS will:

  • be listed as a charity on the CBS website
  • need to submit audited financial statements and there won’t be any changes to your reporting requirements
  • be contacted again next year when your licence is due for renewal.

Registration with the ACNC

If you register with the ACNC you must advise CBS if you intend to fundraise in South Australia.

Use the Collections for charitable purposes application/notification form to:

  • notify CBS that you intend to collect in SA if you are registered with the ACNC
  • renew an existing CBS SA licence if you are not registered with the ACNC
  • apply for a new licence with CBS if you are not registered with the ACNC
  • lodge a fundraising income and expenditure statement with CBS.

Not licensed as a charity in SA

Organisations registered with the ACNC, but not licensed as a charity in SA, can’t fundraise until they notify CBS by using the  notification form above, then CBS will let you know when you can collect in SA.

If you are not collecting for a charitable purpose, you don’t have to notify CBS.

Collecting for charity

Collecting for charities can include:

  • collecting money or property, such as door knock appeals or online fundraising
  • charging admission for an entertainment event
  • selling items like badges, ribbons or second-hand goods
  • a bequest, or other grants of money or property to a charity.

Reporting requirements

If you're registered with the ACNC and have notified Consumer and Business Services (CBS), you don’t have to renew your licence or lodge annual fundraising statements.

Charities and prescribed associations

Organisations registered only with the ACNC need to report directly to them after you have submitted your final charity and prescribed association financial statements to CBS.

If you don’t register with the ACNC, you must submit separate reports to CBS as a charity and as a prescribed association in the future.

Please note: CBS won't send you a hard-copy renewal form unless you ask for it.

Contact CBS

Online: Contact CBS

Phone: 131 882

GPO Box 1719
Adelaide SA 5001

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Page last updated 28 March 2023

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Attorney-General's Department
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