Download or print
Request accessible format of this publication.
The Act regulates fundraising appeals for charitable purposes in NSW.
For there to be a charitable purpose, there must be an intention to provide a benefit to the public or a section of the public rather than to obtain a private benefit or advantage Charitable purpose is defined in the Act to include “any benevolent, philanthropic, or patriotic purpose”.
While the definition of charitable purpose in the Act is different to the one used by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) it may be helpful to be aware of some of the charitable purposes set out in the Charities Act 2013 (Cth), namely:
A charity's purposes, aims and objectives are usually set out in its governing instrument, that is the formal document which sets up a charity and establishes how it will run.
If an individual or organisation (whether incorporated or unincorporated) intends to conduct a fundraising appeal for charitable purposes in NSW, they must hold an authority to fundraise unless exempted. Applications for an authority should be made to NSW Fair Trading.
An ACNC registered charity is automatically eligible for an authority to fundraise but must still apply to NSW Fair Trading for an authority.
If not registered with the ACNC an applicant for an authority to fundraise will be assessed to ensure all the persons proposing to conduct the fundraising appeal, and all the persons associated with the proposed appeal, are fit and proper persons.
An individual will not be considered a fit and proper person to be associated with a fundraising appeal not limited to but specifically if:
An organisation will not be considered fit and proper to be associated with a fundraising appeal if:
Not all charitable fundraisers in NSW are required to hold an authority to fundraise, however there are still general provisions in NSW laws that must be complied with. Exempt fundraisers will find that these Guidelines are generally not relevant, but they may represent good business practice which can be adopted.
The following categories are exempt from requiring an authority to fundraise in NSW.
A fundraiser will be exempt if:
Universities, and entities controlled by universities, are not required to hold an authority to fundraise.
An entity controlled by a university means a person, group of people or body of which a university, or the council, board or Senate of a university, has the level of control defined in Australian Accounting Standards.
Local councils as well as trustees of trusts are exempt where:
A parents and citizens association constituted in connection with a government school under the Education Act 1990 is not required to hold an authority.
However, Parents and Friends Associations in non-state government schools, such as private schools or independent faith schools, need to hold an authority to fundraise as they do not fall under the portfolio and control of the NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning.
A religious body or religious organisation which is a recognised denomination for the purposes of the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) is exempt.
The following further religious bodies or organisations are exempted by the Regulation:
To apply for, or renew, an authority, download and complete the Charitable Fundraising Application or Renewal Form from the NSW Fair Trading Charitable Fundraising webpage. There is no application fee.
An authority will be issued for up to five years. Authorities can be renewed up to three months after they have expired.
All authorities to fundraise are listed on a public register. You can check if an authority is valid by visiting Service NSW.
The ACNC is a Commonwealth Government agency. It registers and regulates charities nationally, mainly for taxation purposes.
To access charity tax concessions and other benefits, you may need to register as a charity with the ACNC. Registration with the ACNC is voluntary.
You do not need to register with the ACNC to apply for or hold a NSW charitable fundraising authority. However, if you are registered with the ACNC there are streamlined application and reporting processes available which are detailed below.
Each organisation conducting charitable fundraising appeals should consider whether ACNC registration is appropriate based on their own circumstances and eligibility.
For more information, contact the ACNC (visit www.acnc.gov.au or call 13 22 62).
ACNC-registered charities are automatically entitled to apply for and receive a NSW fundraising authority.
This simplifies and streamlines the application process for an ACNC registered entity to apply for an authority to fundraise in NSW.
Authority holders registered with the ACNC are not required to submit an annual report as an exemption from the requirement to lodge has been issued by NSW Fair Trading.
By lodging an Annual Information Statement with the ACNC, charities that fundraise in NSW will meet the obligation to submit an annual report.
Authority holders who are also registered with the ACNC do not have to provide a compliance statement (as required under the Act) directly to NSW Fair Trading if they include the compliance statement in their Annual Information Statement submitted to the ACNC.
A data sharing arrangement allows the information reported to the ACNC to be shared with NSW Fair Trading.
As systems and administrative processes are still being developed to facilitate information sharing between NSW Fair Trading and the ACNC, it will initially not be possible to lodge the NSW annual return and compliance statement required under the Act via the ACNC 2021 Annual Information Statement.
To reduce duplication, an exemption from the requirement to lodge this information has been issued for NSW authority holders registered with the ACNC. It is expected that the 2022 Annual Information Statement will allow NSW fundraisers to include all the information required under the Act.
Request accessible format of this publication.