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#FixFundraising update: Justice Connect welcomes government progress on national regulation

19 October 2022

Justice Connect welcomed the announcement earlier this monthby the Hon. Dr Andrew Leigh MP (Federal Assistant Minister for Charities) and the Hon. Melissa Horne (Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs) that a framework for national consistency on charitable fundraising is expected to be released this year. 

There is an end in sight to Australia’s outdated and inconsistent fundraising laws 

The problems with fundraising laws in Australia are well known. In short, any charity that wants to raise money online in Australia must work out how to comply with different fundraising laws in every state. This means that charities are often too caught up in red tape to get on with their purpose of supporting their communities.  

The #FixFundraising campaign has been calling for these changes 

The #FixFundraising campaign has been calling for fundraising regulation that: 

  • Is nationally consistent  
  • Promotes transparency and ethical behaviour with remedies for potential public harm 
  • Is consistent with the Australian Consumer Law and existing self-regulatory codes of conduct. 

We’ve worked with the sector to design a set of rules that would work: the Australian Fundraising Principles (AFPs). The AFPs are principles of ethical behaviour, rather than details like the font size to go on a name badge. As principles, they are future-proof, and allow charities to consider their particular situation.  

Governments agree with our principles-based approach 

This latest announcement has confirmed that a working group of jurisdictions, led by the Commonwealth and Victorian governments, has been developing a principles-based national framework for fundraising laws. The new framework will regulate how fundraising is conducted in Australia.  

Provided all participating governments agree, the working group will finalise the framework for the Council on Federal and Financial Relations to release in late 2022. 

How we’ll keep the pressure on 

We won’t be able to say this work is done until there is a simple answer to what a charity needs to do to be legally compliant when they put a ‘donate’ button on their website. 

The #FixFundraising coalition looks forward to our continued collaboration with the Government, and eagerly awaits the release of a national framework by the end of 2022. 

Want to know more about our campaign? 

There are over 100 Australian charities who have joined Justice Connect’s campaign to #FixFundraising. As part of our efforts, the #FixFundraising coalition developed 14 Australian Fundraising Principles to help inform the development of a national framework. 

Learn about the 10+ year history of Justice Connect’s #FixFundraising campaign.