The Morrison Government has agreed with all states and territories to develop a national fundraising framework which will reduce red tape faced by charities while retaining safeguards to maintain public confidence. This agreement was achieved through the Council on Federal Financial Relations and endorsed by the National Cabinet.
Charities estimate that inconsistent, overlapping and outdated state and territory fundraising regulations cost around $13.3 million a year in compliance. These changes will ensure charities can dedicate more of their time and resources to assist vulnerable communities. A national fundraising framework working group will be established to develop and implement the reforms. The working group will be jointly chaired by the Commonwealth Treasury and Victorian Department of Justice and Community Safety.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that as charities have moved more of their fundraising efforts online in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, inconsistent and duplicate rules and regulations have become apparent.
“The insights and experience of the charities sector will be invaluable to the working group to eliminate unnecessary red tape and allow charities to capitalise on the accelerated digitalisation of the economy driven by the pandemic,” the Treasurer said.
Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar said that most jurisdictions support the harmonisation of fundraising laws, but they have struggled to get reform efforts off the ground.
“I have tasked my department with leading state and territory officials to find a practical way forward over the coming months. This is a high priority and I want to move quickly to reach agreement on an approach at a national level,” Minister Sukkar said.
This is on top of work already being undertaken by the Commonwealth and states to adopt a cross-border model for fundraising registration and reporting, which removes the need for Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission registered charities to apply for a separate registration in each state.