ACT – Charitable Fundraising Acts & Regulations

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Note: The following is an abridged version of Andrew Lind’s Fundraising Regulation paper. To receive the full copy, please use the form below.

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Charitable Collections Act 2003

A map of Australia highlighting the Australian Capital Territory


Justice & Community Safety.


“An Act to regulate collections for charities, and for other purposes.”[1]

Regulated activity

‘Collection’ for charitable purpose, with ‘collection’ for the purposes of the Act defined in s4(1) of the Act as follows:

a collection is the soliciting or receiving by a person of money or a benefit if, before or during the soliciting or receiving, the person represents that the purpose of the soliciting or receiving, or that the purpose of an activity or enterprise of which the soliciting or receiving is part, is or includes a charitable purpose.

Sub-section (2) of section 4 then goes on as follows:

  1. For subsection (1), it is immaterial whether the money or benefit is solicited or received
    1. in person; or
    2. by post, telephone, email, fax or other means; or
    3. as a donation or otherwise.

Interstate observation

See earlier comments on soliciting and receiving. Section 4(2) may take the meaning further than in other states. Record keeping relating to all activities including beyond ACT need to be kept but don’t have to separately show ACT activities.[2]

Regulated person

Any person who conducts a collection including a person who organises, manages, or assists in organising or managing the collection.[3]

Key operative provision

14. Unlawfully conducting collections

  1. A person commits an offence if
    1. the person conducts a collection; and
    2. the person is not authorised by a licence to conduct the collection.

Religious exception

No exemption


Charitable purpose includes any benevolent, philanthropic or patriotic purpose.

Local address

No requirement

Separate bank account

Funds from appeals must be banked to a dedicated bank account and only operated on not less than 2 signatures.[5]

Limits on commercial fees

The Act contains a very specific example of a condition that may attach to a licence grant if the licensee engages a commercial fundraiser as follows:

A charity holds a licence authorising it to conduct a particular collection. The charity engages a commercial fundraiser to conduct the collection for it. The licence conditions provide that if the licensee engages a commercial fundraiser, each advertisement for the collection must state the following information (the required information):

  • the licensee has engaged a named commercial fundraiser for the collection
  • the amount of remuneration payable to the commercial fundraiser or how the remuneration is to be calculated.[6]

If a licence is issued to an unincorporated body, the nominated person for the body in relation to the licence is taken to be the licensee.”[7] Then in Example 2 in that section the following appears – “If, under this Act, something must be done by the licensee of a licence issued to an unincorporated body, the nominated person for the body in relation to the licence to which the thing relates is required to do the thing. If failure to do the thing is an offence, the nominated person commits the offence.” Best practice would see the whole management committee nominated and updated as they change.

Outdated bits

  • No mention of fundraising over the internet.

You can find the ACT Register here

Continue to next section


  • [1] From the preamble to the Act
  • [2] s50(3) of the Act
  • [3] s8 of the Act
  • [4] S3 Dictionary
  • [5] s45 of the Act
  • [6] Example 2 in s17 of the Act
  • [7] s31(1) of the Act