Justice Connect welcomes bi-partisan commitment to #FixFundraising

13 Apr 2022

Justice Connect welcomes the Australian Labor Party’s announcement this week that they will commit to fixing Australia’s outdated fundraising laws and reducing red tape for charities.

The Australian Labor Party has shown a long-standing commitment to this issue as a key part of easing the regulatory burden for charities, and the #FixFundraising coalition is pleased to see their continued support.

The Morrison Government has established a working group after an announcement in December 2021 that the Council on Federal Financial Relations (CFFR) would make charitable fundraising rules reform one of its top 10 priorities for 2022.

Chief Adviser at Justice Connect’s Not-for-profit Law program Sue Woodward AM said:

“We are thrilled to see bi-partisan support and commitment to implementing a simpler, single national scheme for the regulation of charitable fundraising.”

“This long overdue reform would give charities more time and money to spend supporting communities, rather than sinking resources into endless paperwork.”

Under existing laws, any organisation that raises money online in Australia must obtain a fundraising license in every state. In an age of compounding floods, fires, and pandemics, more communities are turning to charities and not-for-profit organisations for support, only to experience capacity limited by complex regulation.

Justice Connect is calling on the incoming Government to implement their commitment to fixing fundraising so that charities can get on with their job of supporting communities.

Justice Connect and the #FixFundraising coalition will encourage the incoming Government to keep momentum on this critical issue after the election, and ensure that the Federal Government works with State and Territory Governments to end the complex, out of date, and ineffective web of existing charity regulations. We need to achieve national consistency for charities the same way it was achieve for business under the corporations law back in 2001.

“The #FixFundraising coalition is ready to work with the incoming Government, to use our expertise to agree on and implement the best solution. To work on a timely solution that preserves transparency and donor protections while allowing innovation and modern fundraising for all charities and other not-for-profit organisations,” said Woodward AM.

“There are three things that need to happen urgently to fix fundraising in Australia. First, we need a single point of registration for charities.”

“Second, we need a single set of rules to help ensure ethical fundraising practice. We’ve worked with the sector to design a set of rules that would work — called the Australian Fundraising Principles.”

“Third, we need a single regime for reporting via the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).”

“The time to #FixFundraising was yesterday.”

Background

A major independent survey in May 2021 revealed that up to 88% of charities and not-for-profit organisations still face unnecessary red tape when raising funds for their vital services.

Read more about the Australian Fundraising Principles developed by the #FixFundraising Coalition in collaboration with the Charities Crisis Cabinet.

See the 10+ year history of Justice Connect’s #FixFundraising campaign.

There are over 100 Australian charities who have joined Justice Connect’s campaign to #FixFundraising.

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MEDIA ENQUIRIES:

Roj Amedi, Justice Connect
roj.amedi@justiceconnect.org.au
+61 3 8636 4476

About Justice Connect:

Justice Connect is a legal service organisation and charity that designs and delivers high impact interventions to increase access to legal support and progress social justice.

About Justice Connect’s Not-for-profit Law program:

Justice Connect’s Not-for-profit Law (NFP Law) program is a national, specialised legal program. It provides free and low-cost legal assistance to charities and not-for-profit organisations across Australia, runs a certified social enterprise and advocates for better laws and regulation on behalf of the community sector.