Fundraising appeals defined

The soliciting or receiving of any money, property or other benefits from the public constitutes a fundraising appeal if a representation is made (this may be implied) that the appeal is for a charitable purpose or for the support of an organisation having a charitable object.

An appeal may take a variety of forms: donations, sponsorship, telethons, the conduct of lotteries and competitions, the supply of food, entertainment or other goods or services, or in connection with any other commercial undertaking. A membership drive undertaken by an organisation is a fundraising appeal if one of the objects of the organisation is a charitable object. The term is not limited to simple collections from the public.

What does not constitute a fundraising appeal?

The following do not constitute a fundraising appeal for the purposes of the Act (section 5):

  • a request for, or the receipt of, an amount required as a genuine membership renewal fee of an organisation
  • an appeal to (or the receipt of money or a benefit from) members of an organisation
  • a request that any property be devised or bequeathed, or the giving of any information as to the means by which any property may be devised or bequeathed
  • an appeal conducted exclusively or predominantly among persons sharing a common employer or place of work by one of those persons (being an appeal for a charitable purpose connected directly with another of those persons or any such other person’s immediate family) and the receipt of money or a benefit from any such appeal
  • an appeal to (or the receipt of money or a benefit from) any Commonwealth, State or local government authority
  • a request for, or the receipt of, money from a person if the money is wholly payable by the person as the genuine fee or charge for the provision of:
    • educational facilities or services
    • childminding services
    • goods and services by a supported employment service for people with disabilities
    • nursing and medical services
    • other care or welfare services.
  • an appeal to a registered club that is a participant in the ClubGRANTS Scheme.

We recognise that persons or organisations may from time to time undertake certain projects and activities which by their nature are not intended as a fundraising appeal. These may include activities such as the publication of an information handbook or the sale of equipment at cost or at a nominal markup (eg. blood-testing strips to diabetics), production of stage plays by drama groups, etc. on a cost recovery basis. These activities may constitute an appeal for purposes of the Act. If in doubt, contact Fair Trading for advice.

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