Tasmania – 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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Collections for Charities Act 2001 & Collections for Charities Regulations 2011

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Regulator

Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading.

Purpose

“An Act to regulate the collection of donations for charities and for other purposes.”[1]

Regulated activity

Any soliciting for charitable purposes.[2]

“solicit means to seek a donation by a request communicated in person or –

  1. by mail; or
  2. by facsimile transmission; or
  3. by telephone; or
  4. by e­mail; or
  5. by the internet; or
  6. by a document left on premises; or
  7. by any appeal through the media.”[3]

Regulated person

Any person soliciting for charitable purpose.

Key operative provision

5. Permissible soliciting

  1. A person must not solicit for a charitable purpose unless –
    1. that soliciting is on behalf of an organisation which complies with subsection (2) or holds an authority in writing granted by the Commissioner for a specified period; or
    2. that soliciting is by a person by virtue of an authority in writing granted by the Commissioner for a specified period.
  2. An organisation must not solicit for a charitable purpose unless it is –
    1. an incorporated association or a corporation under an approved statute in the State or Territory in which the principal office of that organisation is located; or
    2. an organisation that is approved by the Governor by an order­-in-­Council for the purposes of this Act or a member of a class of organisation that is so approved; or
    3. an organisation that is approved by the Commissioner in writing for a specified period.

Internet

In addition to being in the definition of “solicit”, the internet is also, in my view, included within the ordinary meaning of ‘electronic media’. See below.

S10(4) of the Act provides as follows:

An organisation must not, by request in writing (whether or not that request is to a particular person) or through any electronic media or in an advertisement, solicit for a charitable purpose unless he or she discloses in that writing, electronic media or advertisement –

  1. a statement of the purpose for which the donation is sought; and
  2. the name of the organisation; and
  3. the address of the principal office of the organisation; and
  4. a contact telephone number for the organisation; and
  5. any other information required by the regulations.

Interstate observations

“Soliciting” by the internet is expressly contemplated. The application of the Act to fundraisers who have principal offices outside Tasmania is expressly contemplated in section 6. The need for charities to register in more than one State or Territory is expressly contemplated in section 7. However, is a web site, able to be viewed in another State, an “activity” in that State? See the following provisions:

6. Approval of organisations for soliciting

Where an organisation is an incorporated association in a State or Territory other than Tasmania or is a corporation whose principal office is located in a State or Territory other than Tasmania, that organisation must not solicit for any charitable purpose unless the organisation is first approved by the Commissioner.

7. Requirement for licence or authority in another jurisdiction

An organisation must not solicit for a charitable purpose if, arising from any activity in any other State or a Territory, including soliciting for charitable purposes, that organisation is required to hold a licence or other authority under one or more relevant Acts and that licence or authority is not in force.

Then in s3(1) of the Act:

  1. A relevant Act is taken to be any Act specified in the regulations as a relevant Act for the purposes of this Act and includes the following:
  • Charitable Collections Act 1946 of Western Australia;
  • Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 of New South Wales;
  • Collections Act 1966 of Queensland;
  • Collections Act 1959 of the Australian Capital Territory;
  • Collections for Charitable Purposes Act 1939 of South Australia;

Religious exception

“For the purposes of section 4(j) of the Act, soliciting by a religious organisation, by way of an appeal to its adherents or any other person who has attended a religious service by that organization, is authorized.”[4] Fundraising appeals within venues used by a religious organisation are also exempt.[5]

Charity[6]

charitable purpose includes a benevolent, philanthropic or patriotic purpose and any purpose for the protection of the environment or the welfare of animals.

Local address

No requirement

Separate bank account

No requirement

Limits on commercial fees

“An organisation must not permit an agent, contractor, officer or employee of that organisation to receive any benefit which is manifestly excessive if that benefit in whole or in part is derived from funds obtained by donation.”[7]

“An organisation must not permit any donation given for any charitable purpose to be used for any purpose other than the purpose for which it was obtained except for –

  1. reasonable expenses incurred in the administration of the organisation; or
  2. reasonable payments to agents, contractors, officers or employees of that organisation for expenses incurred in its administration.”[8]

Manifestly excessive seems different to a more than reasonable. It is therefore difficult to correlate the last 2 items.

Outdated

Very little is outdated.

You can find the Tas Register here.

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References

  • [1] Preamble to the Act
  • [2] s4 of the Act
  • [3] s3 of the Act
  • [4] Reg 4
  • [5] Reg 4
  • [6] s3(1) of the Act
  • [7] s13(1) of the Act
  • [8] s14 of the Act