Enabling greater charitable fundraising during COVID-19 crisis

hfriedlander, 23rd April 2020

Today the Charities Crisis Cabinet, which the CBAA is a part, has written to the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers calling for urgent fundraising reform.

The Open Letter calls on Governments to harmonise fundraising regulation across jurisdictions to ensure charities can move to online fundraising initiatives.

With no face to face fundraising, no events, less volunteers available, and limited consumer confidence, fundraising is not providing the income many charities rely upon to be able to serve their communities.

Charities engaged in online fundraising are currently required to comply with seven different sets of charitable fundraising regulations across our Federation. Some jurisdictions require police checks, others a public notice in a newspaper, some need verified copies of passports and other forms of ID of Directors and staff, some limit the size of collection boxes, who can open them, etc. Many inquiries, including the recent Senate Select Committee on Charity Fundraising in the 21st Century have supported the view that: the time for action to reform fundraising regulation in Australia was more than 20 years ago.

As we approach Giving Tuesday on 5 May, the Charities Crisis Cabinet respectfully requests that all States and Territories harmonise COVID-19 fundraising requirements to follow a common set of rules that are appropriate to current circumstances, including the need to pivot to online fundraising and avoid face to face fundraising.

In short, the Charities Crisis Cabinet has outlined a set of rules that would cut red tape and enable charities to pivot more quickly and easily to online fundraising. 


The Charities Crisis Cabinet met for the first time on Tuesday, 31 March 2020.  The Cabinet is co-Chaired by Rev Tim Costello AO and Susan Pascoe AM and draws on the leadership and experience of 21 leaders from across the breadth of the 57,000 strong charities sector.  It will seek to enable charities to support their communities through the Covid-19 pandemic, especially those most vulnerable to increased harm, and ensure as many charities as possible can effectively contribute to building flourishing communities after the crisis.  The Charities Crisis Cabinet draws on the experience, knowledge and networks of leaders from across the diversity of the charities sector to highlight issues and consider responses.


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Charities, including community radio stations, are the heart of communities and people are turning to them in droves for support and comfort at this time


A Charities Crisis Cabinet has been formed with co-Chairs Rev Tim Costello AO and Susan Pascoe AM and 18 other leaders from the not-for-profit sector, including Jon Bisset (CBAA, CEO).


The CBAA supports Community Council of Australia's open letter to governments across Australia. David Crosbie and Tim Costello make seven suggestions as to how government can work more effectively with charities over the coming months.