Not-for-Profit, Charity & Social Enterprise

Jackson McDonald’s Not-for-Profit, Charity and Social Enterprise team specialise in advising entities operating within the charitable and not-for-profit sector, across all stages of establishment, growth and operation.

The team offers extensive sector-specific legal experience, regularly advising entities in relation to charities law, taxation exemptions and concessions, constitutional drafting and amendments, corporate governance issues and liaising and negotiating with the ACNC and the ATO.

Complemented by the team’s transactional and commercial experience, clients benefit from access to our extensive range of commercial legal services, including mergers and amalgamations of not-for-profit entities and general contract reviews and amendments.

Importantly, the team understand that clients across the diverse not-for-profit and charity sector have different demands and requirements.  Time is invested in getting to know your purposes, requirements and limitations so that you receive the best possible service and outcome.

Our core capabilities in not-for-profit and charity include:

  • Corporate structure design, advice and restructure
  • Establishment of new entities, including charities, DGRs and subsidiaries
  • Preparation of charity applications to and negotiating with the ACNC and ATO
  • Charity and tax law reviews and compliance, including State taxes
  • Obtaining and maintaining tax exemptions from the ATO
  • Mergers, amalgamations, winding up and dissolution
  • Fundraising, gift and donation issues
  • Foundations and philanthropic giving
  • Advice on commercial activities including acquisition and sale of assets
  • Corporate governance advice, including directors’ duties and meeting procedures
  • Advice on membership issues, including membership disputes
  • Review of constitutions and rules
  • Employment issues
  • Intellectual property management and protection
  • Charitable trusts, bequests and estate disputes involving charities

Corporate Governance & Structuring

  • We acted for a community housing organisation in relation to the transfer of its assets and activities from an incorporated association to a public company limited by guarantee. The assets and activities were successfully transferred to the new company.

  • We acted for a large West Australian charitable organisation and incorporated a special purpose vehicle for that organisation which will be used to enter into agreements with the Housing Authority in relation to the development of community housing in Western Australia.

  • We advised a local government on the appropriate structure for establishing a new GP Super Clinic with Commonwealth funding that will be a Public Benevolent Institution (PBI).

  • We provided ongoing advice to the RAC in relation to general corporate governance issues.  This is mainly in relation to the Rules of the RAC, compliance with the Associations Incorporations Act and meeting advice.

Trade Practices Compliance

  • We provided advice to a national professional association in relation to its accreditation process and an allegation that its accreditation process may contravene the Trade Practices Act.

Board Responsibilities and Training

  • We prepared a paper in relation to university Board responsibilities and corporate governance issues. We also provided training to the Board, which was based largely on the paper we prepared, but also facilitated discussion in relation to a range of issues such as insurance, D&O Policy, the Volunteers and Food and Other Donors (Protection from Liability) Act 2002 and general corporate governance issues.

Service Level Agreements

  • We drafted, amended and reviewed various service level agreements between a group of universities. We also advised on a range of corporate matters affecting the university, such as general agreements, EOIs and charitable funds.

Retirement Villages

  • We act for a number of retirement villages and have carried out compliance reviews to ensure that the villages’ documentation meets all statutory requirements (as is necessary under Commonwealth funding arrangements).

Tender Preparation

  • We drafted the procurement plan and request for tender documentation for the preparation of a strategic plan for the establishment of Boyup Brook as a centre of excellence for Country music in Western Australia.

Project Development

  • We act for a large sporting organisation in relation to the drafting of its development agreement with a developer, to transform one of WA’s iconic sporting venues, WACA.

Adam Levin

Lead Partner

+61 8 9426 6753
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Elizabeth Tylich


+61 8 9426 6700
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Emma Chinnery

Special Counsel

+61 8 9426 6739
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David Murphy

Special Counsel

+61 8 9426 6748
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  • 5 April 2018

    Office romances, sex crimes and political opinions: Should an employee’s private life be a matter for their employer?

    Can an employer discipline or even terminate an employee because of their personal life? The recent Barnaby Joyce saga raises the old issue of whether it is appropriate or fair to dictate an employee’s conduct outside of the workplace and what balance can be struck between protecting an employer’s business versus unnecessary intrusion into an employee’s private life.

    Authors: Renae Harding, Shannon Walker

    LINK 42 Bytes

  • 18 April 2017

    Has your organisation suffered a serious data breach? Reporting will soon be mandatory!

    The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act) has recently been amended to introduce a mandatory data breach notification regime. This means that entities regulated by the Privacy Act will soon be required to notify impacted individuals (and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner) when a serious data breach occurs.

    Author: Elizabeth Tylich

    LINK 37 Bytes

  • 28 June 2016

    New laws governing incorporated associations in WA commence on 1 July 2016

    On 2 November 2015 the Associations Incorporation Act 2015 (WA) (New Act) received Royal Assent. The New Act repeals and replaces the current Associations Incorporation Act 1987 (WA). The New Act has now been proclaimed to commence on 1 July 2016.

    All existing incorporated associations must comply with the requirements of the New Act from 1 July 2016, subject to the transitional provisions, and must notify the Department of Commerce of their address within 90 days. All existing incorporated associations have 3 years from 1 July 2016 to update the rules of their association to ensure compliance with the New Act.

    Author: Elizabeth Tylich

    LINK 28 Bytes

  • 4 February 2016

    New financial reporting requirements for retirement villages

    No doubt you have started thinking about the preparation of budgets for the next financial year.

    We remind you that the new accounting and financial reporting requirements are effective for the financial year commencing 1 July 2016. This article sets out some factors for you to keep in mind.

    Authors: Bianca McGoldrick, Simon Moen

    LINK 42 Bytes

  • 23 November 2015

    Unfair contract term protections for small businesses What is the new law?

    On 12 November 2015 the Treasury Legislation Amendment (Small Business and Unfair Contract Terms) Bill 2015 received Royal Assent. This legislation gives effect to the extension of the “unfair contract terms” protections to small businesses.

    Businesses will need to review standard form ‘business to small-business’ contracts to identify and amend any terms which are at risk of being ‘unfair’ and void under the new law.

    Authors: Luke Paterson, Elizabeth Tylich

    LINK 42 Bytes

  • 21 October 2015

    Changes to the laws governing incorporated associations in Western Australia

    On 11 September 2014 the Associations Incorporations Bill 2014 (WA) (Bill) was introduced into the Western Australian Parliament. The Bill has now been passed by both Houses of Parliament and is awaiting Royal Assent. The Bill repeals and replaces the current Associations Incorporation Act 1987 (WA). All existing incorporated associations will now need to review and update the rules of their association to ensure compliance with these new laws.

    To read more about the changes to the laws governing incorporated associations in Western Australia click here »

    Author: Elizabeth Tylich

    LINK 41 Bytes

  • 7 April 2015

    Tax update - maintaining your income tax exempt status special conditions

    On 25 February 2015 the Commissioner of Taxation (Commissioner) released Taxation Ruling TR 2015/1 (TR 2015/1) which provides guidance on some of the special conditions which entities must satisfy in order for their ordinary and statutory income to be exempt from income tax.

    Author: Adam Levin

    LINK 64 Bytes

  • 16 March 2015

    Tax update - establishing an ancillary fund

    There are now 1,240 private and public ancillary funds operating across Australia who collectively distribute well in excess of $251 million to charities each year. 

    If you are interested in joining the philanthropic community and setting up a public or private ancillary fund before 30 June 2015, now is the time to begin establishing the fund.

    Authors: Adam Levin, David Murphy

    LINK 40 Bytes

  • 11 March 2015

    Privacy Act: Anniversary refresher

    Today is the first anniversary of the amended Australian privacy regime.  If you haven’t thought about whether the Privacy Act is relevant to your business, now is the time to do so.

    Author: Elizabeth Tylich

    LINK 40 Bytes

  • 9 March 2015

    Charitable Collections Licences

    Organisations seeking to raise funds or collect goods from the public for charitable purposes in Western Australia are required to have the authority of a charitable collections licence (Licence) under the Charitable Collections Act 1946 (WA) (Act).

    It is important that charitable organisations are aware of the licensing requirements, in order to ensure that they comply with the Act and avoid penalties.

    Author: Elizabeth Tylich

    LINK 38 Bytes

  • 24 November 2014

    Tax Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 (WA)

    Narrowing the Net – Limiting Access to State Concessions and Exemptions for Some Charities

    On 26 June 2014, the State Government of Western Australia introduced the Tax Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 (WA) (Bill).

    Broadly, the amendments contained in the Bill seek to narrow the scope of the existing payroll tax, transfer duty and land tax exemptions as they apply to “fourth limb charities” (i.e. organisations that promote other purposes considered beneficial to the community).

    Author: David Murphy

    LINK 37 Bytes

  • 16 September 2014

    Associations Incorporation Bill 2014

    The Associations Incorporation Bill was introduced into the Legislative Assembly on 11 September 2014. Its purpose is to provide a robust framework to regulate not-for-profit organisations in Western Australia, whilst maintaining an emphasis on self-management and self-reporting. It will repeal and replace the Associations Incorporation Act 1987 (WA) (Current Act).
    At this stage, no Regulations or Model Rules have been released. The draft Model Rules released in late 2007 (as part of public consultation on the Associations Incorporation Bill 2006, which was the proposed “Green Bill” as it was then known) will be updated and finalised after the Bill’s passage through Parliament.  We understand that associations will be given the opportunity to provide feedback on them as part of the consultation process.

    Author: Elizabeth Tylich

    Download PDF 41 Bytes

  • 15 August 2014

    Changes to retirement village laws require a major re-write of residence contracts

    The Western Australian government’s enactment of stage 1 of the reforms to the retirement village laws from 1 April 2014 has resulted in retirement village operators having to make a number of changes in managing retirement villages.

    Authors: Bianca McGoldrick, Simon Moen

    LINK 41 Bytes

  • 21 July 2014

    Government scraps proposed amendments to not-for-profit taxation laws

    In a press release dated 13 May 2014 and issued by the Acting Assistant Treasurer, the Government announced that it would not be implementing the previous government’s better targeting of not-for-profit tax concessions measures.

    Authors: Adam Levin, Elizabeth Tylich

    LINK 61 Bytes

  • 8 July 2014

    No fringe benefits tax for fundraisers

    The Full Court of the Federal Court recently handed down its decision in Federal Commissioner of Taxation v Hunger Project Australia [2014] FCAFC 69.

    Dismissing the appeal of the Commissioner, the Full Court found that Hunger Project Australia (HPA) was a “public benevolent institution” (PBI) within the meaning of s 57A(1) of the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986 (Act).  Accordingly, HPA was entitled to claim an exemption from fringe benefits tax (FBT). 

    Authors: Adam Levin, Peter Walton

    LINK 43 Bytes

  • 30 April 2014

    Reforms to Associations Incorporation Legislation

    The Western Australian Department of Commerce (Department) has advised that its review of the Associations Incorporation Act 1987 (WA) (Act) is nearing completion and it will soon release draft legislation to amend the Act.

    Authors: Adam Levin, Elizabeth Tylich

    LINK 41 Bytes

  • 4 April 2014

    Time is Running Out: Establishing an Ancillary Fund before 30 June 2014

    With 30 June fast approaching and some uncertainty about the future of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission ( ACNC ), now is the time to establish your public or private ancillary fund.
    To read more about establishing an Ancillary Fund, please click here.

    Authors: Adam Levin, David Murphy, Jemal Zagami

    Download PDF 45 Bytes

  • 10 October 2013

    The importance of disclosure of interests for Associations

    Although Woodside had already pulled the pin on its $40 billion James Price Point proposal, on 19 August 2013 the Supreme Court delivered its decision in The Wilderness Society of WA (Inc) v Minister for the Environment [2013] WASC 307, finding that the environmental approvals issued by the Minister in relation to the Browse LNG Precinct were invalid. The basis for the decision was a failure to have recognised or acted upon direct or indirect pecuniary interests held by 3 of the 5 members of the Environmental Protection Authority in relation to the proposal, which fatally tainted the processes leading up to the Minister’s approval.

    The decision is of interest because there are similar disclosure requirements in the Associations Incorporation Act 1987 for members of the board of an Incorporated Association.

    Authors: Adam Levin, Bianca McGoldrick

    Download PDF 544 Bytes

  • 10 September 2013

    Registration as a charity and with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

    Registration as a charity is voluntary however, for many organisations, being endorsed by and registered with the ACNC as a charity is necessary in order to access tax concessions.

    Authors: Adam Levin, David Murphy

    Download PDF 447 Bytes

  • 10 September 2013

    Statutory Definition of Charity

    The statutory definition is part of the government’s not-for-profit (NFP) reform agenda to strengthen and sustain the NFP sector.

    Author: Adam Levin

    Download PDF 267 Bytes

  • 20 March 2013

    Taxing the Commercial Activities of Not-for-Profit Organisations

    In the 2011/12 Federal Budget, the Federal Government announced a number of reforms in relation to the not-for-profit (“NFP”) sector. These reforms include changes to the taxation of NFP’s commercial activities.

    On 27 May 2011 the Assistant Treasurer released a consultation paper, ‘Better targeting of not-for-profit tax concessions’ which outlines the Federal Government’s preliminary views as to the proposed reforms. A summary of the proposed NFP tax concession reforms is set out in this publication.

    Authors: Adam Levin, Elizabeth Tylich

    Download PDF 443 Bytes

  • 8 January 2013

    Obligations of Charities Registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission

    The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (“ACNC”) commenced operations on 3 December 2012. New charities can apply to be registered with the ACNC.The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission Act 2012 (Cth) (“ACNC Act”) lists the requirements a charity must meet to be entitled to register with the ACNC. These obligations are detailed in the ACNC’s Guide to the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth). A summary of the obligations is provided below.

    Authors: Adam Levin, Elizabeth Tylich

    Download PDF 432 Bytes

  • 6 January 2013

    Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission: Bill Passes through Senate & House of Representatives

    The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission (“ACNC”), the new Commonwealth regulator for the Not-for-Profit (“NFP”) sector, was set to commence operations on 1 October 2012. However, due to a series of amendments to the enabling legislation (the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission Bill 2012 (“Bill”)) the commencement date was delayed.

    Authors: Emma Chinnery, Elizabeth Tylich

    Download PDF 425 Bytes

  • 16 September 2012

    Door opens for community housing and aged-care providers to object to Local Government rates

    Following a decision by the State Administrative Tribunal delivered on 12 September 2012, community housing and aged-care providers,who have had rates objections rejected by Local Governments, may now be able to lodge those objections.


    Download PDF 280 Bytes

  • 27 June 2012

    The Charity Passport and Online Portal - Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission

    Not-for-profit organisations (NFPs) will be aware that the Australian government is currently implementing the new Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) as the regulator for the NFP sector. The ACNC Implementation Taskforce has released an Implementation
    Report dated June 2012. The report deals with five key areas relating to the implementation process.

    Authors: Emma Chinnery, Elizabeth Tylich

    Download PDF 440 Bytes

  • 5 June 2012

    ASIC reduces review fees for not-for-profit companies

    Under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), companies are required to report to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission by lodging financial, directors’ and auditor’s reports and are to pay an annual ‘review fee’ once every financial year.

    Authors: Emma Chinnery, Adam Levin, Elizabeth Tylich

    Download PDF 560 Bytes

  • 24 May 2012

    Jackson McDonald 5th time Perth Law Firm of the Year

    Jackson McDonald consolidated its position as the leading West Australian law firm when named Perth Law Firm of the Year at the 2012 ALB Australasian Law Awards in Sydney on 24 May 2012.

    It is the fifth year out of six that Jackson McDonald has won this prestigious award.


    Download PDF 304 Bytes

  • 25 January 2012

    The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth)

    The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (“Act”) creates a single national law governing security interests and similar transactions with respect to many different
    kinds of tangible and intangible property, other than real property. The scheme under the Act commenced on 30 January 2012.

    Author: Will Moncrieff

    Download PDF 467 Bytes

  • 9 January 2011

    Doing Business in Asia Pacific

    Jackson McDonald is a proud member of Globalaw and has assisted in the development of this guide.


    Download PDF 4 Bytes