• New South Wales

    Charitable fundraising in New South Wales is regulated by NSW Fair Trading.

    This regulator has provided the information in this section.

    NSW Fair Trading

    What types of fundraising activities are regulated?

    In New South Wales, the raising of money for a charitable purpose – that is, conducting a fundraising appeal for a charitable purpose – is governed by the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991.

    The soliciting or receiving of any money, property or other benefit from the public constitutes a fundraising appeal for a charitable purpose if a representation is made (this may be implied) that the appeal is for a charitable purpose or for the support of an organisation having a charitable object.

    An appeal may take a variety of forms – donations, sponsorship, telethons, the conduct of lotteries and games of chance, the supply of food, entertainment or other goods or services, or in connection with any other commercial undertaking. A membership drive undertaken by an organisation is a fundraising appeal if one of the objects of the organisation is a charitable object. The term is not limited to simple collections from the public.

    If your organisation conducts fundraising appeals for a purpose that is not charitable, then the raising of that money is not governed by the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991.

    However, if this fundraising includes a form of lottery or game of chance, it may be governed by the Lotteries and Art Unions Act 1901. Persons, charities and other organisations may be authorised under this Act to conduct certain lotteries and games of chance as fundraising activities, social pastimes or entertainment, or to promote the sale or use of products or services.

    These lotteries and games of chance include activities such as raffles, art unions, charity housie and lotteries for the promotion of a trade or business.

    What permits or approvals are required?

    If your organisation intends to fundraise for a charitable purpose it must hold an authority to fundraise, which is a form of NSW government licence. NSW Fair Trading is responsible for issuing this type of licence.

    If you are a person or an organisation who intends to fundraise for a charitable purpose you must be an authorised fundraiser. However, an authority will only be issued to a natural person in exceptional circumstances.

    If you intend to fundraise for a charitable purpose in the name of, or on behalf of, another organisation, the appeal must be authorised by that organisation which in turn must either be an authorised fundraiser or be exempt from the need to be an authorised fundraiser.

    Some organisations are allowed to conduct fundraising appeals for a charitable purpose without holding an authority to fundraise, if they are established under a New South Wales Act and are subject to the control of a New South Wales government minister. However, these organisations are still required to comply with the other provisions of the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991. Parents and citizens associations and New South Wales state emergency services are examples of such organisations.

    Certain religious bodies are also exempt from most provisions of the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991.

    An authority to fundraise is issued with certain conditions, which are aimed at ensuring financial, fundraising and management accountabilities.

    Some forms of lotteries and games of chance require a permit. These include art unions, charity housie, lucky envelopes and chocolate wheels.

    To contact NSW Fair Trading:

    See also:

    For information about licence holders, visit onegov.nsw.gov.auExternal Link

    Last modified: 14 Apr 2016QC 46298