Date posted: 02/06/2021

Charities drowning in red tape report

Charities and community groups have to deal with too much red tape, a new report has found

In brief

  • There is a disproportionate regulatory burden on Australia’s smaller charities
  • The fundraising registration process is either very complex or somewhat complex
  • Charities support a simplified regulation model

A new survey shows not-for-profit community groups (NFPs) are still struggling with complex fundraising regulations as they try to move to online with limited resources.

The survey by Justice Connect’s #FixFundraising coalition and the Charities Crisis Cabinet tested the experiences of 643 Australian charities and other NFPs in trying to comply with the multiplicity of regulations as they support their communities.

The #Fixfundraising Coalition and the Charities Crisis Cabinet have developed a simpler option to regulate public fundraising activities by registered charities to ensure honesty and transparency for donors. It aims to establish a single and clear national standard and can be enforced using current laws. The simplified regulation model is supported by 97% of the surveyed charities.

“Deregulation in the Australian charities and NFP sector is vital to allow communities to continue to receive support. Cutting the unnecessary red tape is long overdue,” says Karen McWilliams, CA ANZ Business Reform Leader.

‘Deregulation in the Australian charities and NFP sector is vital to allow communities to continue to receive support. Cutting the unnecessary red-tape is long overdue.’
Karen McWilliams, CA ANZ Business Reform Leader
Other key findings from the report are:
  • There is a disproportionate burden on smaller charities as 46% of the charities and NFPS surveyed have a total annual income of less than $250,000.
  • Of those surveyed, between 57% and 88% consider the current registration process to be very complex to ‘somewhat complex’ with a lot of excessive information required.
  • A total of 53% consider the current fundraising rules and registration processes a ‘significant’ cost in staff time and administration as well as being a barrier to fundraising.
  • Most charities use online fundraising, but 39% are not aware of the need to comply with different state and territory licenses and regulations when raising funds online.

CA ANZ is a supporter and partner of #fixfundraising. In 2016, CA ANZ co-signed the statement on fundraising reform, which calls on government to provide charities, not-for-profits and the donors who support them with a nationally consistent and fit-for-purpose regulatory regime.

Fundraising Survey 2021 report

New report shows charities still face unnecessary red tape when raising funds for their vital services.

Read report

Statement on fundraising reform 

A call on all Australian governments to work together to provide charities and other not-for-profits with a nationally-consistent and fit-for-purpose regulatory regime.

Download PDF

Charitable fundraising in Australia 

Read CA ANZ’s submission to the Charitable Fundraising National Working Group

Read more

Not-for-profit reporting

Learn more about financial reporting requirements that may apply when you work with charities.

Read more

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