Powerful charity coalition responds to Senate’s damning report on fundraising regulations
15 Feb 2019
15 February 2019
The powerful coalition of peak bodies that has been calling on Governments to fix fundraising for years agrees with the Senate Select Committee’s Report into Charitable Fundraising in the 21st Century in its finding that the time to fix fundraising ‘was more than 20 years ago’.
The coalition acknowledges the work of the Committee and its recognition of the contributions of organisations within the charity sector to the inquiry ‘despite the number of previous inquiries examining the issue that have not borne results of any significance’. The Senate report very clearly finds the current fundraising regulations are an unworkable impost on Australia’s charities. The coalition supports the findings in the Senate fundraising report, but is concerned that they do not clearly identify a way forward.
A key recommendation of the Senate Committee is for the government to respond to the Report of the Review Panel of the ACNC Acts, handed down almost six months ago. That review made numerous important recommendations that would cut red tape for charitable and not-for-profit fundraising. Inaction on these recommendations is now operating as a road block to reducing red tape for charities.
Government must show its commitment to the sector by both providing a response to the previous ACNC review report and outlining the next steps it intends to take to fix fundraising within the next two years.
Doing nothing is not an option. As stated by frustrated coalition member David Crosbie, CEO Community Council for Australia, in evidence to the Committee, ‘Time and time again we raise concerns … but it just doesn’t happen. It’s like a slap in the face for the charities sector’.
Sue Woodward, Head of Justice Connect’s Not-for-profit Law service, said she hopes that the inaction ‘will end with this new Senate report’, and that the affirmation of multi-party support for change will actually produce a real outcome, ending years of inaction and failure to address dysfunctional fundraising regulations.
The fundraising reform coalition
The bodies making up the coalition are Australian Council of Social Services, Australian Institute of Company Directors, Community Council for Australia, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Governance Institute of Australia, Justice Connect, Philanthropy Australia and Public Fundraising Regulatory Association.
The ongoing work of the coalition to #fixfundraising can also be accessed at www.nfplaw.org.au/law-reform