10 February 2022

Improving the transparency of charitable fundraising during natural disasters

The Morrison Government and Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA) today announced new guidelines for the reporting of charitable fundraising during natural disasters.

Charities can sometimes face intense public scrutiny during natural disasters about the timeliness of the distribution of donations. Frequent and transparent communication from charities involved in response efforts is key to assuring the public that their donations are funding critical assistance.

Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Housing, and Minister for Homelessness, Social and Community Housing Michael Sukkar said the Government has partnered with FIA to deliver a solution for improving transparency.

“Australian charities play a key role in times of natural disaster by supporting communities in need, both during and in the immediate aftermath of disasters as well as in medium and long-term recovery phases,” Minister Sukkar said.

“These guidelines are intended to improve transparency obligations for charities and give the public a better understanding of how their donations are being put to work. Good communication by charities supports public trust and understanding of the recovery process.”

CEO of Fundraising Institute Australia, Katherine Raskob, said the new Practice Note establishes a set of minimum conduct standards that charities may follow and expand upon to achieve best-practice fundraising and reporting during times of natural disaster.

The standards include requirements to publish disaster appeal intents and progress reports on the use of donations in response and recovery efforts.

To maximise coverage and benefit to the sector, charities without FIA Membership will be able to voluntarily become ‘Practice Note signatories’ at no cost and without the commitment to comply with the full FIA Code. FIA Members will adhere to the guidance in the Practice Note as part of their FIA membership which is a commitment to ethical best-practice fundraising.

The Practice Note is informed by a framework for transparent reporting which was developed and consulted on in 2021 by the Government in partnership with a working group of key charity representatives and Fundraising Institute Australia

The Practice Note is published on the FIA website, along with accompanying FAQ guidance.