Media Release - Charities welcome Treasurers’ agreement to reform fundraising

Charities are delighted that progress is being made to fix the duplication and red tape that engulfs any charity seeking to fundraise online or in most parts of Australia. 

According to David Crosbie, CEO of the CCA, ‘charities currently face a dog’s breakfast of outdated dysfunctional regulation that is strangling charitable fundraising in Australia.  The commitment to streamline fundraising regulation announced today by Assistant Minister for Charities Andrew Leigh is long overdue.  It is a reform that offers real benefits to charities and the communities they serve without in any way diminishing accountability.  We cannot wait to see this commitment put into practice.’

Rev Tim Costello AO, Chair of CCA said; ‘governments and communities across Australia will gain increased value from the donations and funding charities receive if they follow through on their commitments and jointly remove the interstate road blocks on fundraising. We should all be encouraging and enabling charities, their 1.3 million workers and over 3 million volunteers to do what they do best, serve their communities.’

Under current fundraising regulations, when small local charities – like a local church, birdwatching group, community choir, animal rescue, neighbourhood pantry or toy library – put a ‘donate here’ button on their website, they are officially required to go through the complex process of registering as a fundraising organisation in most States and Territories.  This requires reporting to each jurisdiction. 

There has been over a decade of high-level inquiries and reports including Royal Commissions, Productivity Commission and Parliamentary Inquiries, thousands of submissions, and an endless stream of recommendations.  All of them have highlighted the waste of charity resources because of the current outdated regulations.  Every single inquiry and report has called for change.  But little real change has come.

A pre-election survey of over 3,400 voters across the 20 most marginal electorates in Australia conducted for the Community Council for Australia by Piazza Research found that: Across all surveyed electorates, high proportions (74% to 92%) of electors wanted to see their local MP make greater efforts to get the Australian Government to improve fundraising rules to make it easier for charities to raise money.

CCA Media Release: Charities welcome Treasurers’ agreement to reform fundraising (pdf)