Charitable Fundraising Reform - Toward a national approach

Jon Cheung, Solicitor, Sydney
On 16 February 2012, the Commonwealth Treasury released a discussion paper on reform of charitable fundraising regulation in Australia in the latest instalment to the not-for-profit reform agenda.
The discussion paper is available here.
The purpose of the consultation is to seek submissions to assist in the development of a model for fundraising regulation to be undertaken by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.  The reforms will impact all charities that seek to raise funds from the public through whatever means including raffles, fundraisers or auctions etc.
Submissions on the discussion paper are due on 5 April 2012.
Current regulation
Reform to charitable fundraising regulation is long overdue. Every Australian State and Territory (except the Northern Territory) has a different regulatory framework for charitable fundraising.
Issues for Consultation
The consultation paper invites submissions in relation to the following charitable fundraising issues:
  • Necessity for regulation and impact costs on charities
  • Activities that should be exempt from regulation
  • A national approach to regulation and impact on small and large charities
  • Role of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission
  • Application of consumer protection laws
  • Disclosure of information at the time of giving
  • Reporting requirements on outcomes and beneficiaries
  • Online fundraising regulation
  • Third party fundraisers
This consultation is an opportunity for charities to make submissions to highlight the realities of fundraising in the context of:
  • national operations not limited within state borders
  • increasing opportunities and accessibility of online fundraising
  • changes to public and donor expectations on financial disclosure
  • upcoming commencement of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission and its public information portal about charities. 
Gadens Lawyers is able to assist charities seeking to assess the relevant issues and to make a submission to Treasury.


This update does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and it is not intended to be comprehensive. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.