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Intention to fundraise 

Authorisation to fundraise
Authorisation to fundraise - school fetes
Banking
Financial statements
Fundraising in other states and territories
Income tax exemption and deductible gift recipient status

Authorisation to fundraise 

Is an authority to fundraise required? 

If you or your organisation intends to fundraise for a charitable purpose you must hold a licence to fundraise (authority to fundraise).

If you intend to conduct a fundraising appeal in the name of, or on behalf of, another organisation, the appeal must be authorised by that organisation which in turn must either hold a licence to fundraise or be exempt from the requirement to hold a licence.

If your organisation is established under an Act and subject to the control and direction of a Minister, a fundraising appeal may be conducted without the need to hold a licence to fundraise. Nevertheless, this type of organisation must still comply with all other requirements of the Act and regulations including maintaining proper records, and having accounts audited.

The Act does not apply to a religious body or organisation in respect of which the Marriage (Recognised Denominations) Proclamation 2007 is in force under section 26 of the Marriage Act 1961 (Commonwealth). The Act also does not apply to a religious body, or an organisation or office, within a denomination in respect of which such a proclamation is in force.

In addition, the Act does not apply to a body or organisation affiliated with and approved by the religious body or organisation referred to above, provided the principal or executive officer of the religious body or organisation has certified this in writing.

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Fundraising Authority Conditions 

The Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 requires that before an organisation may conduct charitable fundraising activities it is required to hold a licence to fundraise. Under section 19 of the Act conditions are attached to fundraising authorities.

Licences to fundraise are subject to conditions. In some instances a condition may be modified or replaced with another condition. The conditions are based on prudent and fair practices.

For more information view the Fundraising Authority Conditions in PDF format (size: 73kb).

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How is a licence to fundraise obtained? 

To apply for a licence to fundraise, download and complete the fillable Charitable fundraising application (PDF size: 205kb). The application sets out a range of supporting documentation that must accompany the application form. There are no application fees. Completed applications can be emailed to charity.inquiries@finance.nsw.gov.au or posted to:

NSW Fair Trading
Business Licensing Locked Bag 5138
Parramatta NSW 2124

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What do we do if someone wants to raise funds on behalf of our charity? 

When an organisation or individual seeks to fundraise on behalf of your charity, you need to authorise them in writing to collect any donations.

Assuming the individual or organisation is not receiving a financial or other benefit, the written authorisation must meet the following requirements:

  • Include the name of the person or organisation authorised to fundraise on your behalf.
  • Include the terms and conditions under which the authorisation is granted.
  • Have a description of the appeal or appeals to be undertaken.
  • Indicate the specific period for which the authorisation will apply, including issue and expiry dates.
  • Be signed and dated by an authorised delegate of your organisation.

You should also ensure that the relevant conditions attached to your authority to fundraise are complied with, such as ID badges, issuing of receipts and so on.

The good name of your organisation is its most precious asset, so it is wise to undertake basic background checks of people or organisations seeking to fundraise on your behalf.

Sample authority to fundraise in PDF format (size: 88kb) has been developed for an individual to conduct a simple fundraising event, such as a sausage sizzle, where income and collected donations are for a charity.

Please note that this is an example only and should not be used as a template. You should tailor your authorisation to suit the individual circumstances of the proposed fundraising and your organisation’s structure. You should also seek your own independent legal and/or financial advice if you wish.

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Authorisation to fundraise - school fetes 

If our local school holds a fete and we get part of the proceeds, do we have to authorise them to fundraise on our behalf? 

You only need to authorise the school if it is representing to people attending the fete that funds are being raised for your organisation. Your organisation's name is its most precious asset and steps need to be taken to ensure accountability when that name is used.

Assuming that the school is not obtaining a financial or other benefit for raising the funds, the authorisation must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • be in writing
  • include the name of the person from the school who is authorised to raise funds
  • include the terms and conditions under which the authorisation is granted
  • include a description of the appeal or appeals to be undertaken
  • indicate the specific period for which the authorisation will apply
  • be signed and dated by the authorised fundraiser (or a delegate of the authorised fundraiser or its governing body).

It is also best practice to require a simple income statement where appropriate, setting out the expenses and income arising from the fundraising activity.

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Banking 

Can we bank fundraising and non-fundraising income into our main bank account? 

Fundraising income must be banked into an account that contains only fundraising income. This requirement can be relaxed if accounting practices in place are sufficient to allow the two types of income to be readily distinguishable.

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Financial statements 

Do I need to submit a copy of our financial statements to Fair Trading each year? 

Accounts are prepared for each financial year; however, you only need to submit them to us in the following situations:

  • with your original application for a licence (authority to fundraise)
  • with your application for a renewal of a licence
  • if Fair Trading asks you to submit audited accounts.

Audited accounts are required if the funds raised exceed $250,000 a year and must include:

  • Balance sheet
  • Statement of income & expenditure
  • Signed audit report

A compilation report or an independent review report is not acceptable.

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Fundraising in other states and territories 

If you are planning to conduct fundraising appeals in other states and territories you will also need to comply with any regulations in that area. If you are planning to conduct community gaming activities in other states and territories, you will also need to comply with regulations in that area. Below are the agencies that regulate Charitable Fundraising Activities in Australia:

Victoria

Department of Justice
Consumer Affairs Victoria
www.consumer.vic.gov.au

Queensland

Office of Fair Trading
www.qld.gov.au/law/fair-trading/

South Australia

Consumer and Business Services
www.cbs.sa.gov.au

Western Australia

Department of Commerce
www.commerce.wa.gov.au

Australian Capital Territory

Access Canberra
www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au 

Tasmania

Department of Justice
Consumer Affairs & Fair Trading
www.consumer.tas.gov.au

Northern Territory

No legislation

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Income tax exemption and deductible gift recipient status 

Contact the Australian Taxation Office at www.ato.gov.au with any inquiries regarding eligibility to receive exemptions, concessions or special treatment in some circumstances under the Federal Government’s taxation system.

 

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