Media alert: Charity fundraising reform to be priority of next federal government

8 May 2019

A coalition of peak not-for-profit sector and professional organisations (the #FixFundraising coalition) has called on each of Australia’s major parties to commit to fixing Australia’s fundraising laws as a part of their election platforms.

In a letter sent to the Liberal, National, Labor and Greens parties, the #FixFundraising coalition (Australian Institute of Company Directors, ACOSS, Governance Institute of Australia, Philanthropy Australia, CPA Australia, Justice Connect, Public Fundraising Regulatory Association and Community Council of Australia) asked the parties to commit to simpler and fairer fundraising laws.

The #FixFundraising coalition is pleased to announce that all major parties have committed to reform. Below are the authorised statements from the parties.

Party Statement
The Liberal National Coalition The Liberal National Party strongly supports reducing red tape in the charities sector. Our Government has already begun working with states and territories through the Consumer Affairs Forum to address reduce red tape for charities when fundraising.

 

The Australian Labor Party Labor will work respectfully with the sector to reduce their paperwork burden. We will fix fundraising by immediately starting work on harmonising Australia’s fundraising laws in consultation with states, territories, Treasury and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

 

The Australian Greens The Greens therefore make a commitment to advocate strongly and persistently on all three of the Coalition for fundraising reform’s [i.e. the #FixFundraising coalition’s] asks in the next term of the federal government.

Fairer laws would protect donors, making donating simpler and clearer, while also removing red tape for Australia’s charities, letting them focus on providing services and building stronger communities.

By committing to implement these changes after the election, whoever is in government, Australia can build a sensible, modern fundraising system which works as well for donors as it does for our vital charities.

Further background:

The three commitments sought by #FixFundraising (and now specifically endorsed by the Australian Greens in full and the Labor party in part) are:

  1. First 30 days of government. Implement a recommendation from the Strengthening for Purpose: Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Legislative Review 2018 report to amend the Australian Consumer Law to clarify its application to charitable and not-for-profit fundraising, and the development of a mandatory Code of Conduct.
  2. First 100 days of government. Convene a meeting of all Ministers with responsibility for the Australian Consumer Law to discuss amendments supporting better regulation of fundraising activities, including the core mandatory Code of Conduct.
  3. Support the repeal of current state and territory fundraising laws by ensuring the ACNC is the ‘one-stop-shop’ for reporting and registration, including secure data sharing with state, territory and commonwealth regulators.

 

The full letters can be found at www.nfplaw.org.au/fundraisingreform

The full list of coalition members and supporters can be found at www.nfplaw.org.au/supporters-stories

Comment from coalition members:

Sue Woodward, Head of Not-for-profit Law, Justice Connect
sue.woodward@justiceconnect.org.au 0419 347 997

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