Dear Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers - 5 April 2017

Fix Fundraising – An Open Letter from 150 of Australia’s leading charities

5 April 2017

Dear Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers

Australia’s charity fundraising regulations are a mess. They’re out-of-date – they deal with wishing wells and the length of handles on collection boxes, but not with online fundraising, crowdfunding and websites.  Charities want to do the right thing, but it’s too complex, too confusing and it’s ineffective.

In economic terms alone this is a big issue: the charity sector employs over 1.1 million Australians generating over $134 billion in annual revenue, including more than $11 billion from individual giving.  The loss in productivity involved for the thousands of charities who try to meet the requirements of the seven different fundraising regimes amounts to tens of millions of dollars annually.

It is time to fix this.  It can be done, easily, at no cost.  Federal, State and Territory governments can provide charities with one nationally-consistent, modern and fit-for-purpose fundraising regime as part of the current review of the Australian Consumer Law. It can be clarified and amended to ensure charities (and those raising funds for them) are required to meet a clear set of donor-focused expectations and requirements in their fundraising activities.

For more than two decades, the sector has been asking governments to #fixfundraising.  There have been numerous independent inquiries all recommending change, yet still we are told this issue is not important enough.  It seems cutting red tape for business is essential, but cutting red tape for charities is not.

The charities of Australia support and enable so many aspects of our lives − education, the arts, health, housing, employment, recreation, social services, childcare, emergency services,  family support, justice systems, international development, the environment, religion and spirituality, animal welfare, and many other areas that are crucial to Australia’s productivity and well-being.  We need action now so our organisations, and the donors who support us, can operate under a 21st century, nationally-consistent and fit-for-purpose regulatory regime.

We call on your Governments to prioritise working together to fix this fundraising mess so we can get on with what we do best – building flourishing communities.

View Open Letter and Signatories.

View CCA Media Release.