Call to fix fundraising

A powerful coalition of peak bodies is calling on Australian governments to provide charities and NFPs with a nationally-consistent fundraising regime that will deliver more than $15 million in savings a year for charities alone.

NFPs are forced to waste significant amounts of time and money to meet outdated and fragmented fundraising laws that differ considerably across Australia.

The AICD’s managing director and CEO John Brogden said that more than 600,000 NFPs operated in Australia, 10 per cent of which were charities.

‘Charities and other NFPs are wasting millions of dollars on outdated and unnecessary regulation – funds that should be going to Australians in need,’ he said.

‘Across Australia’s seven different fundraising regimes … there is variation in the requirements for fundraising at each stage, from when and if a licence is needed, to how long a licence is valid, right through to what must be reported and when. This duplication and confusion means charities and NFPs are having to spend time and money on red tape rather than pursuing their missions.’

Fiona McLeay, CEO of Justice Connect, said: ‘For smaller groups, it can be particularly difficult to navigate these complex laws. For larger ones, resources are redirected from service delivery to compliance, with spending on fundraising administration a significant deterrent to public giving.

‘There is a simple way to provide a better regulatory framework for fundraising – clarify and improve how it is covered by Australian consumer law and repeal existing inconsistent and out-of-date state and territory legislation.’

The federal coalition pointed out that an improved fundraising regulatory regime would deliver benefits to all Australians. The proposed reforms would protect charities and other NFPs from unnecessary costs as they tried to raise funds, support them to be more productive, including when they deliver government-funded services, and enable them to continue making a significant contribution to the economy and society.
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