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Fundraising Legislation and Regulations


THE TAKEAWAY: When you are raising money it is important that you comply with all the relevant legislation and regulations surrounding fundraising, food handling, gambling and the sale of alcohol.


Click on your state below to access the relevant legislation and requirements linked to fundraising through gaming, alcohol sales and other permits.


**Important Note: Unfortunately fundraising legislation varies from state to state which will mean that if you are looking to fundraise on a national basis, you will need to take the time to comply with the relevant fundraising legislation in each state.




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Fundraising Legislation




Fundraising Legislation: ACT


**Important Note: Fundraising regulations may change from time to time. This information was updated in October 2017. To ensure you have access to the most current information, check with Access Canberra..


Do I need an authority to fundraise?

The Charitable Collections Act 2003 covers all charitable collections in the ACT except those that are specifically exempt.

It depends! In June 2017, the ACT amended the Charitable Collections Act 2003 (ACT) to exempt Australian Charities and Not for profit Commission (ACNC) registered charities from requiring a license to fundraise in the ACT.

If your organisation is registered with the ACNC, then you no longer need to apply for a licence (or renew a licence). ACNC registered charities do not need to notify Access Canberra of their registration with the ACNC. Access Canberra will receive information regularly from the ACNC on registered charities, which also assists with your reporting, so you will no longer need to report annually to Access Canberra.

However, if your organisation is not registered with the ACNC, it will require a licence with Access Canberra to undertake charitable collections in the ACT. It is good practice to first assume that you do need to apply for a licence, and then check to see whether your activity falls into any of the exempt categories below:

You also donít have to get a fundraising permit for fundraising through:

This is not an exhaustive list. If you are in any doubt about whether you need a licence or not, contact Access Canberra Contact Centre on 13 22 81.

The Register of approved Charitable Collection Licences in the ACT can be viewed here.


How do I apply for an authority to fundraise in the ACT?

For full details regarding the operation of the Charitable Collections Act 2003 Act click here.

Access Canberra is responsible for the issuing charitable collection licences in the ACT, they can be contacted here:

Phone: 13 22 81
Email: accesscanberra.bil@act.gov.au
Mail: GPO Box 158, Canberra City ACT 2601
Web: www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au




Fundraising Legislation: NSW


**Important Note: Fundraising regulations may change from time to time. This information was updated in October 2017. To ensure you have access to the most current information, check with Fair Trading.


Do I need an authority to fundraise?

Yes. You will be required to hold an authority to fundraise if you are looking to fundraise from the public of New South Wales for a charitable purpose, unless you are subject to one of the exemptions outlined below.

An authority to fundraise may be granted initially for a period of two years, at the end of which the authority-holder is invited to apply for a renewal. If everything is in compliance with the legislative requirements, your authority will be renewed for a period of five years. Your authority to fundraise covers an infinite number of appeals over its duration.

Exemptions apply in the following cases:

For more information on the NSW authority to fundraise visit Fair Trading.

**Important Note: NSW fundraising licences have an expiry date and must be renewed before this date. It is the responsibility of the authority-holder (thatís you) to keep track of this and ensure your licence is renewed and current.

The NSW Government office of Fair Trading maintains a public register of licences via the Service NSW platform.


How do I apply for an authority to fundraise?

An application form can be obtained by contacting Fair Trading or by downloading the application form. The form must be either emailed or posted back to the department for processing. Thereís no fee involved.

In practice, authorities will be issued for a specific period, such as five years. Conditions may be attached.


Other relevant fundraising information

The relevant legislation for NSW is the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991. For an outline of the main features of the Act, head to the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing website.

The request or acceptance of any money, property or other benefit from the public is considered a fundraising appeal if a representation is made (or implied) that the appeal is for a charitable purpose or for the support of an organisation having a charitable object.

An appeal may take a variety of forms:

Even a membership drive is a fundraising appeal if one of the objects of the organisation is a charitable purpose.

The following things donít constitute a fundraising appeal for the purposes of the Act:


For further information contact:

Address: NSW Fair Trading, 60 Station Street Parramatta NSW 2150 or
GPO Box 972, Parramatta NSW 2124
Telephone: (02) 9895 0111
Email: charity.inquiries@finance.nsw.gov.au
Website: www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au




Fundraising Legislation: Northern Territory


**Important Note: Fundraising regulations may change from time to time. This information was updated in October 2017. To ensure you have access to the most current information click here.


Do I need an authority to fundraise?

Only if you are selling raffle tickets Ė you will require a lottery permit to do this. You'll also need to make sure that you are registered as an approved association.


How do I apply for an authority to fundraise?

There are two steps to applying for an authority to fundraise through raffle ticket sales:


Other relevant fundraising information

Raffle and Gaming activities are covered by Licencing NT located at:

Address: Level 3, NAB House,
71 Smith Street, Darwin NT 0800
Phone: (08) 8999 1800
Email:agd.licensingnt@nt.gov.au




Fundraising Legislation: Queensland


**Important Note: Fundraising regulations may change from time to time. This information was updated in October 2017. To ensure you have access to the most current information, check with theOffice of Fair Trading.


Do I need an authority to fundraise?

Yes, if youíre looking to fundraise from the public. You will need to either be registered as a charity (with the Queensland Office of Fair Trading (OFT), not just the national Australian Charities and Non-for-Profits Commission (ACNC)) or apply to the OFT for a 'sanction'.

The Queensland government maintains a register to disclose if a charity is authorised to fundraise in Queensland. Please see herehere.


How do I apply for an authority to fundraise?

Before you conduct a fundraising appeal, you will need to obtain authorisation from the Queensland Office of Fair Trading. An appeal for support includes any invitation to the public that is designed to obtain money or articles for a charitable or a community purpose.

There are two ways to obtain an authorisation:

  1. Apply to the Office of Fair Trading for registration of your organisation as a charity (and no, being a registered charity with the ACNC doesnít count); or
  2. Apply to the Office of Fair Trading for the granting of a sanction.

1. Register as a charity

To register your group as a charitable association you donít have to be registered with the ACNC, and you donít even have to be incorporated. You just have to :

Or you could justÖ

2. Apply for a sanction to fundraise for a community purpose

Where an organisationís purposes are not fully charitable but are for purposes which benefit the community, the Office may grant a sanction to the organisation to enable it to fundraise.

You can also apply for a short-term sanction. The Office can issue sanctions that authorise an organisation or a group of individuals to conduct a one-off charitable appeal. A constitutional document is not required if it is intended that the funds will be dispersed shortly after raising them.

Again, you donít have to be an incorporated association to get a sanction. Unincorporated associations, such as charitable trusts, can also apply.

The Queensland Office of Fair Trading can issue sanctions for one-off charitable appeals if an organisation does not want to register as a charity. The organisation will need to provide:

If youíre just a small group of concerned people wishing to run a short-term appeal, the Office may not even insist on your having a constitution. Ring them and ask.

Application forms and further information can be found at the Queensland Office of Fair Trading website.


To contact Queensland Office of Fair Trading please see details below:

Address: GPO Box 3111, Brisbane Queensland, 4001
Phone: 13 74 68
Email: Via Contact Us form
Web: www.qld.gov.au/law/fair-trading




Fundraising Legislation: South Australia


**Important Note: Fundraising regulations may change from time to time. To ensure you have access to the most current information, check with the Office of Consumer and Business Services.


Do I need an authority to fundraise?

It depends!

From December 2016, South Australian charities registered with the ACNC that fundraise in SA are exempt from applying for a fundraising licence from the Office of Consumer and Business Services (CBS, the body responsible for regulating fundraising activities in SA).

To continue to fundraise in SA, charities registered with the ACNC simply need to notify CBS of their intention to continue collecting funds in SA and they will be deemed to hold a fundraising licence. This can be done by visiting cbs.sa.gov.au/charities or through the ACNC Charity Portal.

These charities will continue to be listed on the CBS Public Charities Register as charities authorised to collect in SA, and they must continue to comply with the SA Code of Practice.

However, for an organisation not registered with the ACNC or an individual who intends to collect for a charitable purpose, they must hold either:


How do I apply for an authority to fundraise?

Section 6 Licence

must be the holder of a Section 6 licence.

Section 6A Licence

If your charity is hiring a commercial fundraiser, they must be the holder of a Section 6A licence.


Other relevant fundraising information

The Collections for Charitable Purposes Act, 1939 seeks to regulate charitable fundraising activities. Fundraising activities include:

Charitable organisations that are not collecting for a charitable purpose as described above do not require licensing (e.g. religious organisations, environmental groups and educational institutions). For further information, click here.

A public list of current, expired and revoked charity licences is available on the CBS Public Charities Register.

To contact Consumer and Business Services please see details below:

Address: Chesser House GPO Box 672, Adelaide South Australia 5001
Phone: 131 882
Email: lotterylicensing@agd.sa.gov.au
Web: www.cbs.sa.gov.au or www.charities.sa.gov.au




Fundraising Legislation: Tasmania


**Important Note: Fundraising regulations may change from time to time. This information was updated in October 2017. To ensure you have access to the most current information, check with Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading.


Do I need an authority to fundraise?

You wonít need an approval to solicit for donations if youíre a charitable organisation which is only incorporated in Tasmania.

You will require an approval if:

So in short, the exemptions are if:

Some organisations, because of their unique structure, cannot realistically incorporate. This is most often the case with certain religious organisations, but may also be true of others.

Organisations can apply to the Office of Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading for an exemption from the incorporation requirement so that they can solicit for charitable donations from the public without having to be incorporated.


How do I apply for an authority to fundraise?

There are three application forms available from Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading:

  1. Application by an organisation based outside of Tasmania
  2. Application by a non-incorporated association or community group
  3. Application by an individual

To see the list of Tasmanian registered charities click here.

Raffles:

Raffles are administered by the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming authority.

Their contact is details can be found here.


Other relevant fundraising information

The Collections for Charities Act 2001 applies to anybody who solicits money for a charitable purpose from the public. This includes incorporated bodies, individuals, non-incorporated bodies and religious organisations.

The Act forbids:

The rules do not apply to:

Organisations based outside of Tasmania must not solicit for public donations unless they have obtained approval from the Commissioner of Corporate Affairs. If you have any doubt, contact the office of Consumer Affairs and Fair trading:

Address: PO Box 56, Rosny Park TAS 7018
Phone: 1300 65 44 99
Email: consumer.affairs@justice.tas.gov.au
Web: http://www.consumer.tas.gov.au/registrations/charities




Fundraising Legislation: Victoria


**Important Note: Fundraising regulations may change from time to time. The information has been updated in October 2017. To ensure you have access to the most current information, check with Consumer Affairs Victoria.


Do I need an authority to fundraise?

You need an authority to fundraise in Victoria only if you raise more than $10,000 per financial year and/or have paid staff.

Even if you raise more than $10,000 or have paid staff, you still don't need to apply if you are one of the following kinds of organisations, all of which are exempt either by Ministerial exemption or by Section 16 of the Fundraising Appeals Act 1988:

Some other specific exemptions apply to particular organisations Ė check the website for details.


How do I apply for an authority to fundraise?

You must complete an Application for Fundraiser Registration form.

No fee is required.

If you require assistance with filling out the form, you can contact Consumer Affairs on 1300 558 181.

The list of registered Victorian fundraisers are able to be viewed if you click here.


Other relevant fundraising information

The Fundraising Appeals Act 1998 ensures fundraisers who seek donations from the public compile and present public information about their appeal.

The following activities are not fundraising events subject to the Fundraising Appeals Act 1988:

If you are not sure whether you should be registered as a fundraiser, contact Consumer Affairs Victoria or your solicitor.

You can contact Consumer Affairs Victoria on:

Address: Consumer Affairs Victoria, GPO Box 123, Melbourne VIC 3001
Phone: 1300 55 81 81
Web: www.consumer.vic.gov.au/clubs-and-fundraising




Fundraising Legislation: Western Australia


**Important Note: Fundraising regulations may change from time to time. This information has been updated October 2017. To ensure you have access to the most current information, check with the Department of Commerce.


Do I need an authority to fundraise?

Yes, if you are an organisation that collects money or goods from the public for ďcharitable purposesĒ, including:

You do not need an authority to fundraise if you are an organisation that collects and receives money from the public for non-charitable purposes such as social and sporting clubs, arts groups and schools or kindergartens that operate their own fundraising events.

Please note that animal welfare, conservation and environmental causes are now deemed to be included in the definition of charitable purpose under the Charitable Collections Act (1946) and these organisations will need to submit an application for a licence prior to carrying out any fundraising or seeking any donations to assist their cause.


How do I apply for an authority to fundraise?

A guide to obtaining a licence to fundraise can be found here. The full list of forms relating the registration and management of charities in Western Australia can be found here, with the specific form relating to registration for charitable collections found here.

A charitable collections licence will allow an organisation to legally participate in:

Note: Raffles and street collections require separate licences. Information and application forms for these licences are available from the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor.

The licensed charities register provides an alphabetical list of all charitable organisations licensed in Western Australia.


Other relevant fundraising information

The relevant legislation for WA is the Charitable Collections Act 1946.

For further information, contact Associations & Charities Branch, Department of Commerce at:

Address: Locked Bag 14, CLOISTERS SQUARE WA 6850 or
Level 2, Gordon Stephenson House, 140 William Street, Perth
Telephone: (08) 6552 9364
Country Callers: 1300 30 40 74
Email: charities@dmirs.wa.gov.au
Webpage: www.commerce.wa.gov.au/charities




How can I collect donations through GiveNow?

The GiveNow.com.au online donations service is offered free to any community group in Australia, regardless of size, purpose or tax status.

GiveNow allows any community group with a bank account and the will to raise funds to take advantage of this important and rapidly growing mode of fundraising. GiveNow, which is an initiative of the Our Community Foundation, charges no commissions for processing donations. We pass on 100% of the donation to your group, less the standard fees charged by the credit card companies for processing costs. We have negotiated a reduced charge for most major credit cards. We can also accept donations via direct debit Ė 100% of donations via direct debit are passed on to the organisation, no fees are deducted whatsoever.

For further information, and to register your cause and start fundraising, click here.




Individuals


In general, these laws are directed at organisations that want to raise funds. If youíre just an individual and you want to fundraise for a good cause, youíre going to have difficulty getting them to work.
You have a number of choices.
  1. You can set up an organisation to do the fundraising. This is going to take a while and involves a fair bit of paperwork, so itís really only worth it if you plan to do it a number of times.
  2. You can join up with an organisation to fundraise, in which you go to that organisation and ask how they want you to operate.
  3. If itís for an urgent need, or if thereís no organisation working in that area you can link up to, or if youíre fundraising for individuals in need rather than for a general cause, and if youíre not going to make a habit of it, and youíre not going to raise large (five-figure) sums, and if youíre acting utterly bona fides without taking anything off the top, then you could just go ahead and chance it. The police arenít really interested in enforcing the fine details of fundraising law on good Samaritans, and if youíre sensible you should be OK.
Ideally, though, get your donors to pay the money directly to the bank account of the persons in need, avoiding all complications.