Change my charity’s subtype

When your charity was registered with the ACNC, it will have been registered as a ‘subtype’, which reflects its purpose or purposes. An example of a subtype is ‘advancing education’. Charities can have more than one subtype.

If you log into the ACNC Charity Portal, it will state your charity’s current subtype.

You may need to update your charity subtype if:

  1. your charity was registered with the ACNC prior to 31 December 2013, and the introduction of the new Charities Act 2013 (Cth) (the Charities Act) resulted in your charity’s subtype being removed, or
  2. your charity’s purposes have changed.

1. Removal of your charity's subtype

Removal of former subtypes – Charities Act transition

On 1 January 2014, the law (and the list of subtypes your charity can be registered as) changed. Some charities registered before this date needed to tell the ACNC which new subtype(s) should replace the subtype(s) that have been removed. Under our legislation these charities had until 30 June 2015 to make their replacement subtype selection(s).

Although the period for selecting a charity’s replacement subtypes has now passed, we encourage all charities to review their current subtypes to check whether these subtypes reflect their charitable purposes. If not, we invite charities to apply to register the additional subtypes.

In the Charity Portal follow the link in your portal alert to request the change.

Attention - Important information!Each subtype has a specific meaning under the law. Only choose a replacement subtype that is clearly supported by your charity’s governing documents, and which matches the purpose it pursues. You may need to prove that this subtype is appropriate.

There are now 14 categories or 'subtypes' of charity which the ACNC can register your charity as.

Old subtype prior to 31 December 2013

New subtypes from 1 January 2014

Advancement of education

Advancing education

Advancement of religion

Advancing religion

Institution whose principal activity is to promote the prevention or the control of diseases in human beings (health promotion charity)

Institution whose principal activity is to promote the prevention or the control of diseases in human beings (health promotion charity)

Public benevolent institution

Public benevolent institution

Relief of poverty, sickness or the needs of the aged

Advancing health

Advancing social or public welfare

Another purpose that is beneficial to the community

Advancing health

Advancing social or public welfare

Advancing culture

Promoting reconciliation, mutual respect and tolerance between groups of individuals that are in Australia

Promoting or protecting human rights

Advancing the security or safety of Australia or the Australian public

Preventing or relieving the suffering of animals

Advancing the natural environment

Purposes beneficial to the general public and analogous to the other charitable purposes

Advancing public debate (promoting or opposing a change to any matter established by law, policy or practice in the Commonwealth, a state, a territory or another country)

Income tax exempt funds – no subtype recorded

Some charities may not have any subtypes listed. This may be because they were endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as an income tax exempt fund (ITEF) prior to 3 December 2012. Such funds will have the words ‘no subtype’ appearing next to ‘Entity Subtype’ under the Registration Details section on the ACNC Charity Register. These funds cannot select subtypes.

Read more about income tax exempt funds with no subtype recorded.

2. Change to your charity: new charitable purpose

If you wish to apply for a new charity subtype because your charity’s former subtype no longer applies (for example, because it has changed from providing education to protecting human rights), or because your charity has expanded its purposes, then you must complete a Request to change charity subtype through the Charity Portal.

If you are changing your charity’s purposes (or activities), check that this is allowed under your governing documents. If it is not you will need to change your governing documents (for example, by resolution at a meeting of members) and upload the new version in the Charity Portal.

Log into the Charity Portal, select ‘Change charity details’ and then select ‘Change charity subtype’.

Attention - Important information!This request must be formally approved by the ACNC and will not appear automatically on the ACNC Charity Register. You will need evidence of the change.

How to change your charity's subtype

This screencast is a step-by-step guide to changing your charity's subtype in the Charity Portal.

More information