The Treasury recently released a discussion paper and draft regulation impact statement in relation to proposed charitable fundraising reform. At the moment, all States and Territories in Australia (except the Northern Territory) have their own fundraising regulations and they have different requirements for registration and compliance. The discussion paper proposes to introduce standardised fundraising laws across Australia.
The kinds of “fundraising activity” subject to regulation, as proposed by the paper, would encompass any activity involving the solicitation or receipt of money or other property primarily for a “charitable purpose”. “Charitable purpose” will be defined in accordance with the upcoming statutory definition of “charity”, currently contemplated by the Commonwealth Government. The requirement for a “charitable purpose” suggests that fundraising activities for causes that do not fall within the definition of “charity” will not be caught by the proposed national fundraising laws.