If your charity or non-profit organisation is looking to raise funds, you may be asking if fundraising limits apply. Across all Australian jurisdictions, there do not appear to be any restrictions on the amount of funds that can be raised through a charitable fundraising appeal.
However, there are various threshold exceptions and licensing, reporting and disbursement conditions. This article explores the applicable threshold exceptions for different states and territories and provides some examples of exemptions, licensing and reporting conditions.
In Victoria, there is no cap on the amount of funds that can be raised via a fundraising appeal to the public. However, not for profit organisations that receive less than $10,000 (gross) in a financial year from fundraising activities do not need to register as fundraisers with Consumer Affairs Victoria.
In the state of NSW, clause 7 of the NSW Dept of Fair Trading Charitable Fundraising Authority Conditions sets out that a fundraiser must take all reasonable steps to ensure that appeal expenses and costs do not exceed 50 per cent of the gross income obtained when conducting a fundraising appeal for donations.
Under the Charitable Collections Act 2003 (ACT), fundraising organisations in the ACT that receive less than $15,000 in a financial year from a charitable collections appeal do not need to register for a licence.
In QLD, section 30(1)(c) of the Collections Act 1966 (QLD) sets out that fundraisers must keep accurate statements showing full details of all income and expenditure associated with the appeal. Moreover, information must also be collected on the fundraised money and property resulting from the appeal as well as how funds are spent.
In the state of South Australia, fundraisers must retain proper records which clearly show the money or property collected or received by the fundraiser. Similar to Queensland, information and records must also show how money and property are disbursed. These regulations are set out in section 15 of the Collections for Charitable Purposes Act 1939 (SA).
In Tasmania, an organisation must not permit an agent, contractor, officer or employee to receive any benefit which is manifestly excessive if the benefit is derived from funds obtained by donation. This is set out in Section 13 of the Collections for Charities Act 2001 (TAS)).
In Western Australia, fundraising details, including how much the fundraisers intends to raise in their first year of operation, must be provided to the Department of Commerce along with certain financial statements that have been audited within six months of the end of the financial year. This is set out in section 15 of the Charitable Collections Act 1946 (Cth).
If you wish to receive more information on how to fundraise in Australia, LegalVision can assist. Our team of charity lawyers can help you establish a charity as well as drafting the legal documents required for you to fundraise from the public.