Western Australia – 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 1946, Charitable Collections Regulations 1947; and Street Collections (Regulation) Act 1940, Street Collections Regulations 1999

A map of Australia highlighting the state of Western Australia

Regulator

Department of Commerce, Consumer Protection Division. The regulation of fundraising in Western Australia is governed by two pieces of legislation: Charitable Collections Act 1946 (WA) (CC Act) and Street Collections (Regulation) Act 1940 (WA). I will focus on the former.

Purpose

“An Act to provide for the regulation and control of the collection of money or goods for charitable purposes …”[1]

Regulated activity

‘Collecting’ for charitable purpose.

Interstate observation

If the collecting bank for the charity is not in WA and there is no other presence in WA other than a web site hosted in another Australian jurisdiction, only able to be viewed in WA, I suggest that the CC Act is not enlivened.

Regulated person

Any person making an appeal for support (charities, not-for-profits, officer holders, agents).

Key operative provision

6. Restriction on certain collections

  1. No person shall —
    1. collect or attempt to collect any money or goods for any charitable purpose; …
      unless he is —
    2. the holder of a licence under this Act …

Charity[2]

Charitable purpose means —

  1. the affording of relief to diseased, sick, infirm, incurable, poor, destitute, helpless or unemployed persons, or to the dependants of any such persons;
  2. the relief of distress occasioned by war, whether occasioned in Western Australia or elsewhere;
  3. the supply of equipment to any of His Majesty’s naval, military, or air forces, including the supply of ambulances, hospitals and hospital ships;
  4. the supply of comforts or conveniences to members of the said forces;
  5. the affording of relief, assistance or support to persons who are or have been members of the said forces or to the dependants of any such persons;
  6. the support of hospitals, infant health centres, kindergartens and other activities of a social welfare or public character;
  7. any other benevolent, philanthropic or patriotic purpose.

Religious exception

Religious purposes are not included in the definition of “charitable purposes” in the CC Act,  Accordingly, organisations raising funds for religious purposes in Western Australia are not required to obtain a licence to do so under section 6 of the CC Act.

Local address

No requirement

Separate bank account

Funds from appeals must be banked to a dedicated bank account and operated by authority signed by 2 officers of the organization.[3]

Limits on commercial fees

The advisory committee may recommend to the Minister that a licence be revoked if they are of the view that fees of commercial fundraisers are excessive.[4]

The Permit for street collecting must authorize payment of collectors.[5]

Outdated bits (some)

  • There is no mention of fundraising over the internet.
  • Consideration in granting a licence is whether there is another charity who could more effectively do the fundraising.[6]
  • [P]resent war means the war in which His Majesty was engaged commencing on 3 September 1939.”
  • The penalty for unlawful fundraising is $100.[7] This seems to be so low as to make it effectively meaningless.

You can find the WA Register here.

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References

  • [1] Preamble to CC Act
  • [2] s5 of the CC Act
  • [3] Reg 11 CC Regs
  • [4] s13(2) of the CC Act
  • [5] Reg 11(1) of the Street Collections Regs
  • [6] s11(2) of the Act
  • [7] s6(2) of the CC Act