Streamlining of regulation of charities undertaking fundraising in NSW
July 2021 | News | Posy McGrane
Charities that undertake charitable fundraising in NSW will welcome the regulatory reforms, effective from 1 July 2021, that have introduced a streamlined application process to apply for, and renew, an authority to fundraise in NSW. Simplified reporting requirements for ACNC-registered charities have also been introduced as part of the reform package that will benefit charities undertaking fundraising in NSW.
Application to NSW Fair Trading to receive or renew an authority to fundraise in NSW
Fundraising activities in New South Wales (NSW) are regulated by NSW Fair Trading under the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 (NSW) (“Act”), and Charitable Fundraising Regulation 2021 (NSW) (“Regulations”).
Under the Act, soliciting or receiving money, property or other benefits constitutes a 'fundraising appeal’ if the appeal is for a charitable purpose or for the support of a charitable organisation. Accordingly, subject to certain limited exemptions, charities that wish to fundraise in NSW must hold an authority to fundraise (issued by NSW Fair Trading) and comply with the conditions imposed under the authority, as well as the record-keeping and financial reporting requirements that are contained in the Act and Regulations.
As a result of the reforms, from 1 July, ACNC-registered charities are automatically eligible to apply for, and receive, a fundraising authority from Fair Trading to enable them to undertake fundraising in NSW. Fair Trading’s application process has been streamlined for ACNC-registered charities as it now allows them to apply for a fundraising authority by completing a simplified application form (available here: https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/991306/charitable-fundraising-application-form-cf.pdf).
Please note that charities that obtain or renew their authority via the streamlined process going forward will be required to notify Fair Trading within 28 days of certain changes to their ACNC registration (such as if it is revoked or if any ACNC responsible persons are suspended or removed) as this change may affect their eligibility to maintain a NSW fundraising authority.
In addition, ACNC-registered charities that hold an authority to fundraise in NSW no longer need to submit annual financial reports (and the accompanying statement of compliance) to NSW Fair Trading. Instead, from 1 July, ACNC-registered charities can meet Fair Trading’s annual financial reporting requirements by submitting the annual return and statement of compliance as part of the ACNC’s Annual Information Statement (AIS) process that registered charities are required to undertake. That is, lodging a separate annual return and compliance statement with NSW Fair Trading is no longer required. Instead, charities will be required to provide their fundraising authority number in the AIS to enable the ACNC and NSW Fair Trading to share financial reporting information.
ACNC-registered charities that hold an authority to fundraise in NSW will be exempt from lodging the annual return and statement of compliance with NSW Fair Trading until the updated AIS (incorporating the NSW Fair Trading fundraising component) is made available by the ACNC.
Please contact Posy McGrane or Jae Yang if you would like to discuss any aspect of these reforms or charitable fundraising laws in NSW or any other State or Territory.