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Fundraising reform

29 August 2016

The current state of fundraising regulation is inconsistent, fragmented, outdated and rarely enforced. Our Information Hub’s Fundraising topic page illustrates just how hard it is for organisations to comply with the range of approaches across Australia.

Not-for-profit Law is currently in collaboration with sector peaks including Governance Institute of Australia, Australian Institute of Company Directors, Chartered Accountants of Australia & New Zealand and CPA Australia to improve the state of fundraising regulation in Australia. Our submission to the Australian Consumer Law Review includes our shared proposed strategy to reform and harmonise fundraising laws across Australia.

Three steps to fundraising reform

Not-for-profit Law and the organisations listed above submit that fundraising reform could be achieved through three simple steps:

  1. make minor amendments to the ACL to ensure application of certain provisions to a broad conception of fundraising activities is clear
  2. repeal state and territory-based fundraising laws, and
  3. work with other regulators (for example, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, state and territory-based regulators and self-regulatory bodies such as the Fundraising Institute of Australia and the Australian Council for International Development) to improve fundraiser conduct (for example, door-knocking, telemarketing, excessive spending of funds on third party services).

We stress that undertaking step 1 without also undertaking step 2 contemporaneously would amount to a failure of reform, and would mean that fundraisers need to continue complying with existing fragmented and duplicative regulation along with the amended ACL.