For years the laws that govern fundraising in Australia have grown hopelessly outdated with charities facing heavy amounts of red tape and time-consuming paperwork every way they turn, particularly for national groups. These state-based laws and permits provide little to no protection for the consumer, nor oversight of the sector of fundraising.
Finally, charities have taken a stand. Last year a number of not-for-profits (NFPs) came together to create the #fixfundraising coalition. The coalition called on the Australian government to create a nationally consistent NFP regulatory regime that can be adopted by all charities. In doing so, they released a Statement on Fundraising Reform, which outlined a revised fundraising framework with a three step plan:
- Clarification and minor amendments to the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) to ensure application to fundraising activities is clear and broad
- Repeal of fragmented, time consuming, state and territory fundraising laws, and
- Work with regulators and self-regulatory bodies to provide guidance to fundraisers to continue to improve fundraiser conduct.
The #fixfundraising coalition highlighted that the current local laws are inconsistent, not suited to cross-border activities, digital activities and crowd sourcing, and hinder the work of the not-for-profit sector.
They have written to the Prime Minister along with every Australian head of government calling for governments to prioritise working together to fix this fundraising mess so NFP’s can get on with what they do best – building flourishing communities. Over 150 charities have signed the letter with others still able to sign here.
Some states of Australia, have already made headway in doing away with these rules and permits.
MS Research Australia is passionately in favour of this reform and have added our name to the growing list of supporters.