New Fundraising Laws for Victorian Charities


This article applies to those organisations registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission who conduct fundraising appeals in Victoria.

Consumer Legislation Amendment Act 2019 No.47 (Vic)

The remaining provisions of the Consumer Legislation Amendment Act 2019 No.47 (Vic) (the Amending Act) amended the Fundraising Act 1998 (Vic) (the Act) on 31 August 2020. The key changes to the Act are discussed below.

Fundraisers conducted by organisations registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission

By way of overview, the Act has been amended to provide for the recognition as fundraisers of those entities registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission under the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission Act 2012 (Cth) (ACNC registered organisations) in order to reduce red tape for these organisations who run fundraising appeals in Victoria.

More specifically, ACNC registered organisations are no longer required to register as a fundraiser with Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) to be considered as a registered fundraiser under the Act. Under the newly introduced section 23AB to the Act, an ACNC registered organisation only needs to notify CAV of its intention to fundraise in Victoria in order to be considered a registered fundraiser. Section 23AB requires that such notice is to be in the form approved by CAV. An ACNC registered organisation is taken to be registered as a fundraiser (to become a deemed registered fundraiser) from the date CAV receives the notice from the organisation.

It is also important to note that the newly introduced section 23AD(1) of the Act provides that if a deemed registered fundraiser retains a commercial fundraiser to administer all or part of a fundraising appeal, the deemed registered fundraiser is required to notify CAV in writing within 28 days after entering into the retention agreement with the commercial fundraiser. Furthermore, section 23AD(2) requires a deemed registered fundraiser to notify CAV in writing within 28 days after becoming aware of the occurrence of the following specified events:

  • the deemed registered fundraiser becomes an insolvent under administration or an externally administered body corporate; or
  • the deemed registered fundraiser is found guilty of a disqualifying offence.

It is important to note that any failure to comply with section 23AD results in a penalty of (in the case of a corporation) 240 penalty units (currently $50,400), and in any other case 120 penalty units (currently $25,200) or imprisonment for 12 months or both.

Conclusion

Organisations that are ACNC registered organisations who wish to conduct fundraising appeals in Victoria should ensure relevant staff are made aware of the new changes discussed above.


Contact

For further information please contact the Law Compliance team:

Phone: 1300 862 667

Email: info@lawcompliance.com.au