Charity Fundraising in the 21st Century
The current legal framework for the regulation of fundraising in Australia requires urgent and substantial reform.
This is not a new observation:
- calls to action for major reform have been made for decades, and have been getting louder in recent years;
- charities, other fundraisers, relevant peak bodies from the not-for-profit sector and the legal/accounting professions have consistently produced data and reports highlighting the issues, and the cost and frustration experienced by charities; and
- there have been numerous previous inquiries by various Governments that have also examined the regulation of fundraising, all of which have recorded concerns about compliance costs, complexity, frustration, and confirmed the need to achieve uniformity, greater efficiency and effectiveness of fundraising regulation.
However, significant issues remain unaddressed. The current mantra of all Australian governments – federal, state and territory – is to reduce red tape and to enact laws and regulations that address the core policy criteria of simplicity, efficiency, equity (fairness) and integrity.
Charities (small and large) rely on fundraising. Indeed, many charities would not be financially sustainable without the generosity of the Australian public through donations and other fundraising initiatives, particularly given continuing pressure on government’s budgets.
However, the cost of compliance with each of the myriad of archaic, duplicative (yet often conflicting) fundraising laws across Australia is unjustified and unsustainable. Every dollar spent by a charity on administrative costs is a dollar that is not applied in pursuing the core purpose of the charity.
You can read the full submission below.