Exemptions from the Charitable fundraising Act

Fundraising from the following organisations are exempt from having a fundraising (charity) authority:

  1. Certain religious organisations.
  2. Membership fees for an organisation.
  3. An appeal by an organisation to (or the receipt of money or a benefit from) its members.
  4. 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.
  5. An appeal conducted exclusively or predominantly among people 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.
  6. An appeal to (or the receipt of money or a benefit from) any Commonwealth, State or local government authority.
  7. Small fundraisers (being annual fundraising of up to $15,000 gross).
  8. Universities and controlled entities (a person, group of persons or body of which a university, or the council, board or senate of any such university, has control within the meaning of Australian Accounting Standards.
  9. Local councils and trusts where a council is a trustee.

Religious organisations

The Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 [section 7] provides a general exemption to religious bodies or organisations from complying with the Act (except in regards to the remuneration of directors, which approval must be sought from Fair Trading).

This is because of the Marriage (Recognised Denominations) Proclamation 2007 which is in force under section 26 of the Marriage Act 1961 (Commonwealth). The Act also allows other religious bodies and organisations to be exempted. Go to the Federal Register of Legislation website to view both legislation.

Criteria for determining a religious body or organisation

A body or organisation is regarded as a religious body or organisation if:

  • its objects and activities reflect its character as a body established for the promotion of some religious object
  • the beliefs and practices of the members constitute a religion.

The two most important factors for determining whether a particular set of beliefs and practices constitute a religion are:

  • belief in a supernatural Being, Thing or Principle
  • acceptance of canons of conduct which give effect to that belief, but which do not offend against the ordinary laws. The primary or dominant object or activities of the body or organisation as stated in its objects or constituent documents must be the promotion of some religious object.
Prev Governing instrument of a charity