CEO Update

One of the things that amazed me when I arrived at FIA was the enormous amount of time, passion and energy that our state committees give to the Institute, their colleagues and the sector in planning and executing fantastic learning, sharing and networking opportunities throughout the year.

Across the country, there are more than 200 people who volunteer their time to FIA and our sector, and it was brought home again to me this past month when I attended one-day fundraising forums in Western Australia, Tasmania and South Australia. 

While Western Australia and South Australia have held these events for several years now, and they are always of the highest quality, this is the first year that FIA Tasmania has organised a one-day conference – in Hobart – for fundraisers. We were all so delighted that more than 50 people came to learn from a fantastic line-up of presenters as well as meet and network with each other. I’m genuinely in awe of our state committees! 

In other news, I’d like to update you on some of our regulatory work and what’s happening around red tape reduction.

Successful member forums with Charities Minister Seselja

In recent weeks we held productive member roundtables in Sydney and Canberra with the Hon Zed Seselja, Assistant Minister for Finance, Charities and Electoral Matters, to discuss ideas for red tape reform. These meetings followed my earlier one to one discussion with the Minister, who said he was open to considering our suggestions, especially around providing a ‘one-stop-shop’ for registering fundraising campaigns. He asked for evidence to support his case for Commonwealth leadership on red tape reduction. Our members rose to the occasion with many stories about the burden and expense they faced through duplicative licensing and reporting requirements.

Victoria amends Fundraising Act

Victoria has committed to reducing red tape for registered fundraisers. This has taken the form of amendments to Victoria’s Fundraising Act. Under the reforms, a charity registered with the ACNC will, on giving notice to the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) that they intend to fundraise in Victoria, be deemed to be registered as a fundraiser under the Act without any more paperwork. They will also not need to report annually to CAV as long as they comply with their annual reporting obligations to the ACNC. The new provisions are modelled on ones already in effect in South Australia.

Amended NSW fundraising regs absorb licensing conditions

The NSW Department for Better Regulation is consulting with FIA before the release of draft amendments to the fundraising regulations. A couple of specific areas where they want our feedback include:

  1. Standard authority conditions; feedback is sought on which ones it makes sense to hold onto and which are either too detailed or too prescriptive or indeed just antiquated.
  2. Commercial trader relationships and the specific requirement that expenses not to exceed 50 per cent of the earnings from fundraising. They realise this is a complex issue and are willing to consider alternative methods for justifying fundraising investments.

Over the coming months:

  • FIA has an opportunity to drive red tape reduction through an ongoing advocacy campaign at the state and Commonwealth levels
  • The ACT and SA, in particular, have utilised the ACNC technology platform to reduce red tape both for fundraising and charities generally. It is a relatively small step for other states to do likewise
  • NSW and VIC fundraising law amendments will continue to roll out with a view to minimising duplication
  • If NSW, VIC, ACT and SA can be aligned, we believe other states will eventually join in
  • Throughout the reform process, the FIA Code Authority will play a significant role in maintaining community confidence in the ethical conduct of fundraising, addressing any practice issues that arise.

Members wishing to get involved in our red tape reduction work should contact Scott McClellan, Code and regulatory affairs manager: smcclellan@fia.org.au

Katherine Raskob

Chief Executive Officer