Charitable fundraising

Organisations that fundraise for charitable purposes must comply with

The Charitable Fundraising Guidelines (PDF, 353.93 KB) are a guide to understanding and complying with the legal obligations on persons conducting fundraising appeals for charitable purposes in NSW.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission has guidance to assist registered charities in deciding what advocacy and campaigning it can undertake in the lead up to an election: Charities, elections and advocacy- what you need to know’

Applying for authority to fundraise

To apply for an authority to fundraise, download and complete the fillable Charitable fundraising application form (PDF, 204.43 KB). Completed applications can be lodged by email to

Enquiries about Charitable Fundraising Applications can be made by calling 13 32 20.

Application of NSW Fair Trading COVID-19 Statement of Regulatory Intent to Charitable Fundraising Act 1991

NSW Fair Trading recognises that due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many authority holders may experience difficulty in complying with the statutory obligations under the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 (the Act).

The COVID-19 Statement of Regulatory Intent published on the NSW Fair Trading website outlines the Government’s regulatory arrangements while constraints are in force under the Public Health (COVID-19) Gathering Orders 2020. The statement applies to the conduct of activities under the Act.

All charitable fundraising authority holders whose ability to comply with the relevant legislative requirements is not impacted by COVID-19, are expected to honour their existing obligations under the Act. Where an authority holder cannot comply due to factors outside their control associated with the pandemic, NSW Fair Trading will take a supportive and educative approach to assessing compliance. This approach will be implemented provided authority holders have made genuine documented attempts to comply.

Requirements that may be impacted by the pandemic include:

  • Lodgement of financial returns/reports or other documents under section 23 of the Act,
  • Annual auditing requirements for all authority holders that receive more than $250,000 gross in any financial year under section 24 of the Act.

NSW Fair Trading reserves the right to vary its approach as appropriate, particularly in circumstances that may involve a significant risk of harm to the community.

If organisations are experiencing difficulties in complying with their statutory obligations as a result of COVID-19, they may contact NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20.

National charitable fundraising in Australia COVID-19 Statement of Regulatory Intent

This statement sets out the enforcement approach that charitable fundraising regulators across Australia will take to compliance with certain specified requirements as set out under their respective laws in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

National charitable fundraising during COVID-19 Statement of Regulatory Intent


General telephone enquiries about charitable fundraising can be made by calling Fair Trading on 13 32 20. Alternatively, you can lodge an online enquiry.


Concerns about the operation, conduct or compliance of a charity or the charitable fundraising activities of an organisation can be reported to Fair Trading by lodging an online complaint.