Australia’s Disability Charities 2014 – summary of key findings

Produced by the Centre for Social Impact in partnership with the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, Australia’s Disability Charities Report 2014 analyses data submitted through the 2014 Annual Information Statement.

It focuses on around 11 500 charities which reported that their activities in some way supported people with disabilities. These charities also helped a range of other people, and did not necessarily focus mainly or exclusively on people with disability. The report complements the Australian Charities Report 2014.

Key findings

  • Disability charities employ over 600,000 paid staff.
  • Disability charities tend to be larger than other charities
  • 7.5% of disability charities reported an income of more than $10 million for 2014, compared with 4.8% of all charities
  • Disability charities had income of $52.2 billion (half of the total income of the charity sector)
  • Large numbers were involved in social services, education, aged care, and social and community development.
  • 22% of disability charities reported that their main activity was religious
  • 54% of disability charities had DGR status, compared with 40% of all charities
  • 49% of disability charities are structured as other incorporated entities, such as incorporated associations
  • 1 out of 3 disability charities received most of their income from government
  • 47% of disability charities received no income from government
  • 9 in 10 disability charities were supported by volunteers
  • 70% of disability charities operated a balanced budget
  • In 2014 disability charities spent $48.4 billion pursuing their charitable purpose.
  • 30.5% of Australia’s charities reported their activities in some way supported people with a disability.
  • Disability charities are on average 33 years old.


More than half of disability charities were registered with the charitable purpose of:

  • Promoting and protecting rights – 55%
  • Advancing social or public welfare – 51%
  • Promoting reconciliation, mutual respect and tolerance – 51%

Where disability charities are located

  • NT 1%
  • ACT 2%
  • TAS 3%
  • WA 9%
  • SA 9%
  • QLD 18%
  • VIC 25%
  • NSW 33%