Following on from 2020, FIA is focusing on reducing red tape and standardising fundraising regulation across all states and territories.

FIA priorities 2021The sector had some wins at the end of 2020 with the federal government announcing their commitment to reducing fundraising administration and red tape for charities. This year, Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA) is continuing where we left off, pushing for further reform to deregulate fundraising permissions and reporting requirements that differ across each state and territory.

“Good progress has been made to date, however, much more needs to be done. FIA will continue working with government ministers, shadow ministers and backbenchers to achieve further fundraising harmonisation for the charity sector and other reforms urgently needed to improve charities’ circumstances and assist struggling communities. We know 2021 is likely to be even tougher for charities as government support winds up and the impact of the pandemic continues to be felt economically,” said Katherine Raskob, Chief Executive Officer of FIA.

Other priorities for the peak body include looking into the challenges around online fraud and data privacy – big issues with the increasing dependence on digital fundraising mechanisms and the growing sophistication of online scams. To combat fraud and theft, FIA plans to lobby government to introduce regulation based on existing powers to shut down illegal online gambling sites and take legal action against perpetrators.

In the realm of data privacy, FIA plans to develop an action plan should privacy and data laws become more restrictive.

FIA will also continue to provide assistance to nonprofits through the charity mail relief packages and prevent the phase-out of cheques.

There are also plans to establish a parliamentary friend’s group at federal and state levels to develop stronger relationships with political leaders and their parties and increase understanding of sector needs.

Include a Charity will also remain a priority with FIA working towards building stronger community awareness of the importance of gifts in wills. This year they will work with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission to create solutions for reporting bequests separate from total fundraising donations.

“Having gifts in Wills data will help charities better plan campaigns in this specialised area of fundraising. It will also help to normalise the discussion around gifts in wills and pave the way for legislative changes that can help create sustainable fundraising streams,” said Helen Merrick, Campaign Director of Include a Charity.

It seems like a big year ahead for FIA, but that, ultimately, means good news for the sector. Charities are waiting with bated breath to see how the dust settles this year from the pandemic and with plans to roll back JobKeeper in March, the sector is thankful for FIA’s relentless advocacy and commitment to pushing reform. Here’s to a good year!

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