National risk assessment into the not-for-profit sector

The ACNC-AUSTRAC risk assessment of Australia’s not-for-profit sector was published on 28 August 2017, following extensive analysis of the sector.

Download Australia’s non-profit organisation sector: money laundering and terrorism financing risk assessment [PDF 4.8MB]

Read the ACNC-AUSTRAC media release, featuring statements from both agency heads, here.

What is a risk assessment?

Risk assessments look at the threats, vulnerabilities and consequences of particular risks and provide an overall risk rating for the sector.

The ACNC-AUSTRAC Australia’s non-profit organisation sector: money laundering and terrorism financing risk assessment found that the overall risk rating for terrorism financing is medium. The overall risk rating for money laundering is also medium.

What was the aim of the national risk assessment into charities and not-for-profit organisations?

This risk assessment aimed to identify:

  • the risk of money laundering and terrorism financing in the not-for-profit sector
  • key vulnerabilities and risk indicators of high-risk organisations
  • groups of high-risk organisations that will benefit from targeted outreach and support
  • vulnerabilities that could be exploited to support terrorism, and a strategy to counter these vulnerabilities

Why did we need a risk assessment of the not-for-profit sector?

This risk assessment aimed to build a better understanding of the extent, nature and types of money laundering and terrorism financing risks that the sector faces.

The risk assessment provides insight into where the risks lie for the not-for-profit sector and includes practical strategies and tools to help not-for-profit entities protect themselves against these risks.

The  risk assessment will inform a whole of government framework in relation to the following:

  • targeting of future outreach to the sector
  • ensuring supervision and  monitoring of the sector is appropriate and risk-based
  • the coordination of information gathering and investigation of non-profit organisations at risk of misuse.

The risk assessment also improves Australia’s compliance with international standards identified by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an inter-governmental body that develops and promotes policies to protect the global financial system against money laundering, the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

To learn more about FATF and their recommendations visit

What was involved in the risk assessment?

The ACNC and AUSTRAC worked together to undertake the national risk assessment on charities and not-for-profit organisations. The risk assessment considered qualitative and quantitative data about the not-for-profit sector, as well as academic research and intelligence from law enforcement agencies. 

More information

For more information, contact the risk assessment team at

External resources

Australian Transactions Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)