A new survey released this week reveals that 1 in 5 Australian charities believe current red tape Is a major barrier to fundraising.

State and territory fundraising regulations red tape

What could your organisation do with an extra $10,000?

That’s the average wasted financial cost for each charity to register and comply with current charity and fundraising regulations, according to Community Council For Australia.

A new independent survey released this week has shown 40% of charities surveyed said that current fundraising rules are an unnecessary financial burden, while 1 in 5 Australian charities believe they have become a major barrier to fundraising.

Over 600 nonprofit organisations across Australia were surveyed for the report, revealing that not only were complex registration processes a waste of resources, but the complexity often meant that charities were in the dark around compliance.

Fundraising online, common practice for charities especially after the pandemic, still requires the consideration of seven different state and territory registration systems and compliance regimes – even if the charity operates locally.

“It is very troubling indeed. Right now, charities are being completely buried in red tape when the reality is they need to make the best use of every single dollar they can raise.”

“We estimate – at the current time – a huge 40% of online charity fundraising being carried out, simply does not comply with the actual regulations. It is a very big issue,” said David Crosbie, CEO of Community Council For Australia.

The report ranks each state and territory on the speed, complexity and cost of their regulations.

David points to Queensland as having the worst charity fundraising registration process in the country, costing charities the most time, administration, and money.

Comparison of fundraising barriers by state and territory

State and territory fundraising regulations red tapeBut some states and territories are working to simplify their processes.

“The NT has shown the way by encouraging charities to fundraise while relying on the application of existing consumer law (ACL) and the ongoing oversight of the national charities regulator (ACNC),” said David.

The ACT, SA and Tasmania seem to be trying to make things a little easier, although they still have a long way to go in reducing complexity, time and costs for charities.”

Scrapping all state and territory fundraising regulations was one of the key recommendations from the latest Senate Enquiry and the Bushfire Royal Commission.

“The solutions are clear.  Either states and territories should drop their fundraising regulations altogether and rely on the Australian Consumer Law (as the NT does), or if they are going to insist on each having their own regulations, [they] need to draw on all the existing data held by the charities regulator and be entirely consistent – the same – across all jurisdictions,” said David.

A uniform regulation process would, no doubt, make a huge difference to the sector.

You can access the full report here.

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