Plain English writing | ACNC


Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC)

Project Brief

Develop an extensive, user-friendly suite of forms to be used by all Australian charities in their interactions with the ACNC.


As the central national body responsible for regulating Australian charities and not-for- profit organisations, the ACNC needed a robust suite of documentation to facilitate the collection of information from organisations throughout the country, ranging from large not-for-profits through to one or two-person charitable endeavours.

The ACNC approached Red Pony to assist in developing all the necessary forms to collect this information across the sector.

The priority was to draft accessible and uniform instructions in plain English. To meet this goal, Red Pony analysed the questions that needed to be answered across the forms and edited them for consistency, clarity and simplicity.

In addition, the forms had to be navigable for users with disabilities as well as users unfamiliar with bureaucratic process.

Red Pony developed a robust Microsoft Word template that was used to establish the layout of each form. This made it easy for all parties to work with the content before they were converted to PDF-fillable forms to be completed electronically or in hard copy.

Through an iterative process, Red Pony consulted with ACNC and met regularly to fine-tune the content and format of the forms to ensure they met ACNC’s requirements.

Once the forms had been developed to ACNC’s satisfaction, Red Pony applied a rigorous and thoroughly documented testing process to identify and eliminate any bugs.

Ultimately, a full suite of some two dozen forms was delivered to the ACNC and put to use in the service of the Australian charities and not-for-profits sector.

The suite of forms developed by Red Pony can be found on the ACNC website.


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