Community Compass

community compass logo
Team Name: 
Community Builders

Community Compass is an open source platform that within 46hrs is now putting every Australian Charity on the map!*

People are regularly looking for ways they can help in their community, whether it is volunteering, donating or corporate/community partnerships, but often don't know where to start.  The best way to be effective is often to work with the amazing organisations that are already doing great things nearby.

Community Compass makes it easy to enter the address of your home, office or voluntour destination and find out about all the ACNC registered charities that are working nearby (automatic geolocation for mobile devices to come).  Rather than just showing points on a map, Community Compass displays an attractive 'card' that the charity can update to include their photo and contact phone/email, which are not included in the ACNC data.  It is intended that this enhanced data can then be made openly available for reuse by other users where the Charity chooses to do so.

To make it easy to 'claim' their charity, Community Compass is designed to automatically approve a staff member as a charity administrator if they submit an email address that has the same domain name as the charity website on the ACNC register (they are sent a link to click to confirm the email belongs to them).  If the email address does not match, then a manual verification process will be required.

Obviously many charities operate at multiple locations in addition to their registered office, so once you successfully claim a charity, you will be able to add locations with appropriate photos and services provided at those locations.  In future, each location could have its own administrator to post updates on their activities and again this data could be made openly available to enhance the ACNC data, where approved by the charity.

The charity cards include user friendly icons that will enable users to Heart (Like) the charity to request updates on their activities, share the charity on social media, pledge a donation, volunteer, offer a corporate/community partnership or make contact via an online form (to reduce spam and help track effectiveness).

These cards will be displayed beneath the map in geographical order based on proximity to the address searched on, and allow you to continue scrolling down through all the charities using an 'infinity scrolling' mechanism.  This means you should never get zero results for your search, which is possibly the worst answer you can give anyone who is looking to help (and definitely the worst you can give anyone who is asking for help)!  You will also be able to filter the results based on the categories of charity used by the ACNC.

Over the course of the weekend a team member started working on overlaying ABS data on Socio-Economic Indexes For Areas, showing relative advantage and disadvantage across the areas of the map, so that public and private funders could consider the location of a service against the area of need, before deciding which charities they support.  This feature is something that could be implemented in future as an optional overlay for funders, provided it doesn't distract from the core purpose of encouraging support for community organisations.

What if you don't just want to give, but have a loved one across the country that needs some help but you can't be there?  Jump on Community Compass and find a nearby service provider for the aged, victims of crime, refugees, or whatever other charitable help they need.

With the roll-out of the NDIS, and the growth in social enterprise generally, Community Compass can be extended to also include social enterprises that provide valuable services to our communities.

Community Compass is focused on not only making ACNC data more visually interactive and actionable, but also to help extend that data with additional locations, contact information and service details that help you find the best match for your social impact investment / community service needs.  This user friendly way of providing information about service providers, whether charitable or otherwise, can have a transformative effect for the provision of government funded services, while providing an extremly useful service for the public.

In order to develop Community Compass, the team has had to add geo-location data to speed searching by location and has looked at a range of other open data API's that could be integrated with the platform to provide greater community insight in future, including trove and most significantly the ABS census / SEIFA data.

The team looks forward to continuing the project in the future and making a strong contribution to the charitable and social enterprise sector.  We hope to have your support!

* Some charities have not yet been included due to technical issues with the data.

Datasets Used: 
ACNC Registered Charity Details ABS data on Socio-Economic Indexes For Areas (in future) (

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