CCA Submission to Treasury on developing a voluntary code for charities to improve the transparency of charitable donations during natural disasters

CCA’s submission outlines key areas of opportunity and concern for the Community Council for Australia (CCA) in relation to ‘developing a voluntary code for charities to improve the transparency of charitable donations during natural disasters.’

CCA welcomes the opportunity to engage with The Treasury on this important issue.

CCA is a member of the fixfundraising coalition, has liaised extensively with Justice Connect and strongly supports their submission.

CCA has also consulted with other members in framing this submission, however, it is important to note that this submission does not override the policy positions outlined in any individual submissions from CCA members.

The content of this submission includes: a brief background to CCA; three other context setting background discussions covering; the current context for the broader charities and not-for-profit (NFP) sector, CCA’s seven informing principles and three recommendations for fundraising regulation reform, and the latest research on charities and fundraising regulations. Following this context setting, this submission outlines some of the key issues relating to the Treasury’s transparency and fundraising discussion paper; and offers a conclusion.

CCA is keen to engage in further discussion with The Treasury and others to address the completely dysfunctional fundraising regulations currently impeding the work of the charities sector.

The bushfires and the pandemic have highlighted the critical role of charities within communities, but when it comes to helping charities respond and better serve their communities, it seems streamlining fundraising regulatory processes is a step too far.

The proposal in the Treasury consultation discussion paper to add another requirement – albeit voluntary – makes no sense when around 40% of charities are already non-compliant with existing letter of the law fundraising regulatory requirements.

Just as importantly, many charities are concerned that not enough is being done to protect public trust and confidence in charities. In terms of the specific fundraising regulations across jurisdictions, they are largely unenforceable and fail to offer the protection of the charities brand that charities have called for.

CCA believe this Treasury consultation should at least acknowledge the widespread existing failures in fundraising regulations and make recommendations that do more than bolt another optional requirement on to what we all know is a rusted out seized up dysfunctional set of regulatory processes.

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