New consumer law guidance on fundraising

A new guide will provide charities, fundraisers and not-for-profits much-needed clarity on how Australian consumer law applies to fundraising activities, minister for small business Michael McCormack says.

‘The guidance … contains a simple message for the sector: be transparent, truthful and fair when fundraising,’ Mr McCormack said. ‘If you are upfront and honest, then your fundraising activities are unlikely to raise concerns under […] Australian Consumer Law (ACL).’

‘When charities, fundraisers and not-for-profits better understand their obligations in providing goods and services this gives consumers confidence.’

A guide to Australian consumer law – For fundraising and other activities of charities clarifies that if fundraising and other activities are carried out in a business-like way obligations not to mislead or to act unconscionably will apply.

Mr McCormack said that the guide, which state and federal regulators developed as a priority at the request of consumer-affairs ministers, followed a recent review of ACL.

Legislation will be introduced into parliament early in 2018 to increase maximum financial penalties available under ACL from $1.1 million for companies to the greater of $10 million, three times the value of the benefit from breaching the law, or 10 per cent of the company’s turnover in the year preceding the breach.

The guide is available at

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