Fundraising controls

If you have an authority to fundraise you’re obligated to follow a set of strict rules. The information below will outline your responsibilities.

Authority to fundraise for a Charitable purpose

A charity’s authority to fundraise is set for an unlimited number of appeals in a specific amount of time like five years.

Authority conditions

There are two types of conditions: standard and special. Standard conditions apply to all authorities issued. Special conditions are imposed on certain authority holders, or a class of authority holders, in special or exceptional circumstances. View or download the fundraising authority conditions (PDF, 99.7 KB) document for more information.


An application may be made for a parent organisation to include specified branches, auxiliaries, subsidiaries, etc, in NSW on its authority to fundraise. To satisfy the legislative requirements, a specified branch, auxiliary, subsidiary, etc., (i.e. branches) must be under the direction and control of the governing body of the proposed authority holder. View or download the fundraising by branches spreadsheet (XLS, 28 KB) for more information.


Proper disclosure is a major part of your responsibilities. Proper disclosure makes sure that the public is fully aware of the circumstances of an appeal so they can make an informed decision.

Authorisation of appeals

A person or organisation conducting or participating in a charitable fund appeal must be authorised in writing by the charitable authority holder. If this is face-to-face contact, this authority must be a consecutively numbered identification badge or card which includes the name and contact phone number of the authorised fundraiser, the name of the bearer, and its issue and expiry date. The badge must be worn by everyone.

If the appeal is not done face-to-face, the authority must be in writing and include details of the name of the authorised person, the terms and conditions under which the authorisation is granted, a description of the appeal, the specific period of the authority. It must also be signed and dated by the authority fundraiser or a person delegated to do so.

Commercial fundraisers

Appeals may be done by commercial fundraisers or promoters. The Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 refers to them as traders. When a trader conducts an appeal, it must be done jointly with the authorised fundraiser under a written agreement. Go to the commercial fundraisers page for more information.


If an appeal is done over the telephone, the authorised fundraiser must make sure that it’s done in accordance with Part C of the ADMA Code of Practice published by the Australian Direct Marketing Association.

The code specifies that a caller must:

  • identify himself or herself
  • tell the person being called, if asked, how the person’s name or number was obtained. If the caller does not know, they must find someone who does
  • only call between 8am and 9pm and not at all on Christmas Day, Good Friday or Easter Sunday
  • provide a clear opportunity to accept or reject the offer
  • accept a refusal courteously and hang up
  • appreciate that the person being called may have been contacted at an inconvenient time and offer to call back
  • not make calls pretending to do research or a survey when they are really trying to sell something

Participation of children in an appeal

The minimum age for children participating in an appeal as a volunteer or receiving payment is eight years, and 13 years respectively. In both cases further requirements set out in Part 2, Division 2 of the Fundraising Authority Conditions must be followed.

Banking of charitable fundraising proceeds

For the purposes of section 20(6) of the act, money is not required to be paid into an account consisting only of money raised in the fundraising appeals by the same authorised fundraiser in the following circumstances:

  1. the money is paid into a general account of the authorised fundraiser held at an authorised deposit-­taking institution and accounting procedures are in place to ensure that money received in the course of a particular fundraising appeal can be clearly distinguished,
  2. the money is collected by a branch or auxiliary of the authorised fundraiser and the money is paid into a general account bearing the name of the branch or auxiliary held at an authorised deposit-­taking institution and accounting procedures are in place to ensure that money received in the course of a particular fundraising appeal can be clearly distinguished,
  3. the money is collected by volunteers on behalf of the authorised fundraiser and is paid into a general account of the authorised fundraiser held at an authorised deposit-taking institution by way of credit card, cheque or electronic funds transfer and the authorised fundraiser obtains each volunteer's receipt book and reconciles it with any deposit made my that volunteer.

Charitable Fundraising expenses

Charitable appeals for donations only must take all reasonable steps to make sure that total expenses payable do not amount to more than 50 percent of the gross proceeds. In all other forms of fundraising, such as the sale of goods and services, the return must be fair and reasonable.

Keeping of records

An authority holder is required to keep certain books and records as well as an address in NSW. Go to the fundraiser registered office page for more information.

Financial reporting and audit

The financial report must be audited by a registered company auditor or by a person approved by the office if the funds raised exceed $250,000. Go to the auditing charities page for more information.

Disputes and conflicts of interest

Authorised fundraisers need to put together a system to resolve internal disputes which occur within its membership, and complaints from the public.

Public access to information

An authorised fundraiser can give certain documentation and information to the public at a maximum fee of $17.50 for the first page, and $1.50 for each subsequent page. This includes copies of annual financial accounts for the past seven years, a copy or extracts from the constitution, and the names, qualifications and occupations of members of the governing body of the organisation. Go to the public access to fundraiser information page for more information.

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