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Professional fundraising peak body launches 2021 policy priorities

2 min read
Professional fundraising

Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA), a peak body for professional fundraising has announced its policy priorities for 2021, including pushing for further fundraising red tape reduction and harmonising fundraising regulation across all states and territories.

In 2021, the FIA will also focus on the challenges around online fraud, data privacy, further assistance to charities through charity mail relief packages, preventing the phase-out of cheques which impact donations and establishing a parliamentary friend’s group.

The new policy priorities also include initiatives for its “Include a Charity” campaign efforts, to continue the work building community engagement and awareness about the importance of gifts in Wills fundraising and what it can help charities achieve for their communities.

“Our 2021 policy priorities demonstrate our commitment to the fundraising sector and the critical issues our 1,200 members and the broader fundraising community are currently facing. Our policy work is informed by the needs of our members and what is required for a vibrant and healthy fundraising sector and, in turn, beneficiaries,” said Katherine Raskob, chief executive officer.

While 2020 saw significant moves by the commonwealth and state governments to harmonise state-based fundraising, the current regime still requires charitable fundraising organisations to comply with different permission and reporting requirements for every campaign they undertake.

The professional fundraising peak body has long advocated for red tape reform and will continue to press for a nationally consistent set of regulations by state and territory regulators to achieve cross-jurisdictional harmonisation.

“Good progress has been made to date; however, much more needs to be done. FIA will continue working with government ministers, shadow ministers and backbenchers to achieve further fundraising harmonisation for the charity sector and other reforms urgently needed to improve charities’ circumstances and assist struggling communities. We know 2021 is likely to be even tougher for charities as government support winds up and the impact of the pandemic continues to be felt economically,” said Ms Raskob.

She added that as part of the federal government’s deregulation policy agenda, “FIA has developed priorities that will assist the government in making significant steps forward in regulatory reform and other policy areas.”

Other initiatives the professional fundraising peak body will undertake in 2021 include fighting fraud.

“Online fraud is a growing problem which is damaging to all fundraising organisations. To combat fraud and prevent theft of funds intended for charitable purposes, FIA will lobby government to introduce regulation based on the powers the technology regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, already has to shut down illegal online gambling sites and take legal action against perpetrators,” FIA siad in a statement.

On data privacy, FIA will consult with members and develop an action plan to address restrictions on data use in fundraising should more restrictive privacy and data laws become a reality in Australia.

Gifts in Wills data is becoming increasingly important to charities. For Include a Charity, a collaboration of over 90 charities, FIA will work closely with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission on crafting solutions for the reporting of charitable bequests separate from the total number of fundraising donations in Australia. FIA will also encourage all state and territory public trust offices around Australia to get charitable gifts offered as an option within all Will documentation.

“Having gifts in Wills data will help charities better plan campaigns in this specialised area of fundraising. It will also help to normalise the discussion around gifts in Wills and pave the way for legislative changes that can help create sustainable fundraising streams,” said Helen Merrick, campaign director, Include a Charity.



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