Public confidence in charities is strong in Australia, ranking the third most trusted group, behind doctors and police. But this trust must be earned and nurtured and can be easily lost. Donors trust charities with rigorous governance, skilled management, and a high level of transparency about the way they use resources.  Trust in charities is integral to their survival, as it’s a primary motivator for donor support.

This doesn’t surprise me: it takes courage to put your money into a charity as you surrender control of it. Donors want a commitment from charities that their money will be well invested to support the causes they care about. 

ACNC Registered Charity Tick

The ACNC Tick of Charity Registration logo.

As leaders of charities, we are agents of trust. We have a trust contract with our supporters, who will advocate for us, because we are doing good things in their name. I feel really grateful when I see the word “transformation”, and when our supporters talk about “we” instead of “they”. When they speak in this way we know the trust contract is in place. 

The trust contract is precious and needs constant nurturing by providing clarity on what’s happening - the good and the bad news, the mistakes and the learnings from these errors.

Australia’s charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission (ACNC), has just released its new Tick of Charity Registration. This high profile tick of approval is an endorsement by the charity regulator of an organisation’s governance and trustworthiness.

The ACNC Tick of Charity Registration aims to gives reassurance to the public that the charity is transparent and accountable by highlighting its presence on the ACNC Charity Register.

The ACNC hopes that the Registered Charity Tick will have a positive effect on public trust and confidence in the charity sector and they are encouraging members of the public to check the register to find out more details about the charities they wish to support.

The ACNC Charity Tick confirms who is doing things the right way and who is not. It gives donors confidence about the integrity of the charity they support and the responsible stewardship of their donations. But this is just a starting point, one more element that contributes to the trust contract with our supporters.

At Opportunity International Australia, we treasure the trust contract we have with our supporters. I’m pleased to say Opportunity has been granted the ACNC Charity Tick, demonstrating our deep commitment to strong governance, accountability, transparency and integrity.

Robert Dunn is the chief executive officer at Opportunity International Australia.