Social Sector Ramps Up Campaign to ‘Fix Fundraising’
21 August 2018 at 5:04 pm
A social sector coalition is ramping up its campaign to “fix fundraising”, urging all levels of government to commit to a fundraising overhaul.
Justice Connect’s Not-for-profit Law service has spent the last two years working in collaboration with leading professional and peak bodies in the social sector to improve the state of fundraising regulation in Australia.
The #fixfundraising campaign released a 90-second video this week explaining how to “reduce 480 pages worth red tape to just 10”.
Sue Woodward, the director of national projects at Not-for-profit Law, said this latest push purposely coincided with this week’s expected release of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Review, and a meeting of the consumer affairs ministers on 30-31 August.
“We know the ACNC review report will soon be tabled in Parliament, and we’re keen to make sure ministers are reminded of the importance of fixing fundraising laws before it’s tabled,” Woodward told Pro Bono News.
“We understand it was a topic that came up frequently in the very extensive consultations undertaken by the review panel, so we’ve released this video to put forward a possible solution.
“There’s also an upcoming consumer affairs meeting on 30-31 August in Tasmania, where all the relevant ministers and officials will be attending. We want this to be front of mind in their deliberations because they don’t meet that often.”
Woodward said she was encouraged by Assistant Minister Michael Sukkar’s comments earlier this month at the 2018 Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (CLAANZ) Conference.
Sukkar – who has federal responsibility for both the ACNC and consumer affairs – indicated support for harmonised fundraising regulation and said he would discuss the issue at the consumer affairs meeting.
Minister @MichaelSukkarMP makes a strong statement in support of harmonised fundraising regulation – and that he will be taking the issue to the next Consumer Affairs Ministers Meeting in Hobart later this year. That’s great to hear – reform is well overdue! https://t.co/y8NUM8J4M6
— Krystian Seibert (@KSeibertAu) August 1, 2018
“We were encouraged by Assistant Minister Sukkar’s comments at the charity law conference,” she said.
“Our video has been shared with all the ministers, the relevant officials and regulators, as a quick way of getting that message across.”
Woodward said she hoped “the stars [were] aligning in a way they hadn’t before”.
“We haven’t had the opportunity previously where the federal consumer affairs minister is also the minister for the ACNC, so he’s in a unique position to push this forward,” she said.
“We’ve had previous statements of support from various state ministers, in particular the Victorian consumer affairs minister, so maybe now it’s time for reform because it requires broad cooperation across all levels.”
Community Council for Australia chair Tim Costello has estimated fewer than 20 per cent of Australian charities complied with current fundraising regulations because they were a “total dog’s breakfast”.
The #fixfundraising campaign wants to see the development of a “nationally-consistent, contemporary and fit-for-purpose charitable fundraising regime”, for implementation no later than mid-2019.