FIA urges Senate Committee on fundraising to reach out to the states

Last week I was a witness at the Senate Select Committee into Fundraising in the 21st Century, where I outlined FIA’s position on cutting red tape for fundraisers.

The practice of fundraising is a constantly evolving one and the current legislative framework remains stuck in the past with fundraisers required to register separately state by state and campaign by campaign. So, it is heartening that this Committee has been established to examine the best ways forward.

I noted to the Committee that FIA feels the momentum for fundraising regulatory reform now building is quite heartening, particularly in NSW where regulators are making a genuine effort in measurable red tape reduction around appeals licensing and approval provisions.  The ACT had already set the trend for reform by reducing fundraising-specific red tape in 2017 which I also noted.

Given that none of the state governments made submissions to this Committee, I urged Committee members to reach out to the states for their feedback now that deadline for their final report has been extended to 2019.

It is hard to see how meaningful fundraising reform can be achieved without state involvement since most regulation of fundraising activities falls within their jurisdictions. There is a real risk that if the Commonwealth pushes ahead on its own (for example with a mandatory code for fundraising) we could end up with still more regulation, not less.

I also reminded Committee members that FIA has a self-regulatory code that provides an ethical framework for professional fundraising and lobbied for a greater role for self-regulation to maintain the public’s trust.

New member resources around fundraising supply chains

FIA has published a suite of member-only governance resources intended to support compliance with Commonwealth workplace laws within fundraising supply chains.

As the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Charity Collection Inquiry nears completion and the sector anticipates the release of the FWO’s findings, it is more important than ever to ensure robust supply chain governance measures are in place to protect fundraising workers against possible exploitation.

FIA is committed to supporting members in navigating this complex environment, particularly around the increasing scrutiny by stakeholders, regulators and media on worker engagement practices in fundraising supply chains.

To that end, FIA has partnered with the Labour Standards Centre of Excellence to publish a new Practice Note: Fundraising Supply Chain Governance, together with two member-only template resources which are available to download from the membership portal, including an example Fundraising Supplier Conduct Policy and Fundraising Responsibility Standards Statement.

FIA is urging members not to wait for the findings of the Charity Collection Inquiry to be published before implementing supply chain governance measures.

These new supply chain governance tools are available from the members-only section of the FIA website here.


Katherine Raskob 

Chief Executive Officer, Fundraising Institute Australia