Carroll & O'Dea Facebook Charity Fundraising in the Twenty-First Century: Senate Select Committee Inquiry - Carroll & O'Dea Lawyers

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Charity Fundraising in the Twenty-First Century: Senate Select Committee Inquiry

The Commonwealth Parliament closed submissions on 6 August 2018. Submissions will be sent to a Select Committee on Charity Fundraising in the Twenty-First Century (“the Committee”).

JusticeConnect have done extensive work already and the sector is encouraged to check its #fixfundraising website.

The three simple changes recommended by JusticeConnect are:

  1. Make minor amendments to the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) so that it can be applied to fundraising activities;
  2. Repeal the State and Territory Fundraising laws – Under the encouragement of the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission, SA, ACT, Tasmania and Victoria have agreed to single reporting with ACNC to alleviate duplicate reporting; and
  3. Work with regulators and self-regulatory bodies to improve fundraiser conduct.

JusticeConnect has engaged the services of Norman O’Bryan AM SC of Dawson Chambers, who notes that the misleading and deceptive conduct prohibition would easily extend to fundraising activities no matter on whose behalf they are conducted, or by whom.  He identified that the existing intergovernmental framework, which is amended regularly, and has a flow through to all State and Territory application acts, would not require the States or the Territories to refer their powers to the Commonwealth.

In contrast, the Fundraising Institute of Australia advocates ACNC as the appropriate regulator to create harmonisation across the different regimes.

Notwithstanding these thoughts, many in the sector would also query how crowd funding and digital event fundraising, which can attract donations across borders, places pressures on charities to comply with multiple regimes.

We await the outcome of the Senate Inquiry.

Merryn Lynch Solicitor
Josephine Heesh, Partner

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