This guidance is an overview of fundraising laws and regulations in New South Wales. For more detailed information about fundraising laws and regulations in New South Wales, please consult the relevant regulatory agencies.
Fundraising in New South Wales (NSW) is regulated by NSW Fair Trading.
NSW Fair Trading regulates charitable fundraising activities under the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 (NSW), and Charitable Fundraising Regulation 2021 (NSW).
Under the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 (NSW), soliciting or receiving money, property or other benefits constitute a 'fundraising appeal' if the appeal is for a charitable purpose or for the support of an organisation having a charitable object. It is important to note that NSW Fair Trading’s definition of a charitable purpose is different from the legal definition of charity the ACNC applies when registering organisations as charities at the federal level.
To fundraise in NSW an organisation needs to meet one of the following:
- obtain an authority to fundraise
- enter into an arrangement with the holder of an authority to fundraise on that holder’s behalf.
As part of an arrangement between the ACNC and NSW Fair Trading, ACNC registered charities can access a streamlined application process when applying for or renewing an authority to fundraise. Charities do not have to submit annual returns or compliance statements to NSW Fair Trading as long as they submit the Annual Information Statement to the ACNC.
Individuals who want to participate in charitable fundraising need to complete one of the following steps:
- obtain approval from an authority from a licence holder to fundraise on its behalf
- individually apply for an authority.
Additional information about the conditions and process for obtaining a fundraising authority can be found on the NSW Fair Trading website.
Some individuals and organisations are exempt from the requirement to obtain an authority to fundraise. These exemptions may include:
- certain religious organisations
- an organisation or person that receives less than $15,000 in a financial year from fundraising (small fundraisers)
- local councils
- trusts with a local council as a trustee
- Parents and Citizens committees.
Charities with an authority to fundraise must follow specific rules for fundraising.
NSW Fair Trading has charitable fundraising guidelines that provide guidance on fundraising obligations. The NSW Government maintains a public register of authorised fundraisers.
Visit the NSW Fair Trading website for more details on charitable fundraising.
Registered charities that are authority holders can report directly via the ACNC's Annual Information Statement. They will not be required to submit a separate annual return or compliance statement to NSW Fair Trading.
To allow the ACNC to provide data to NSW Fair Trading, charities should provide their fundraising authority number and statement of compliance when completing their Annual Information Statement for 2022 onwards.
Visit the NSW Fair Trading website for more information about charitable fundraising reporting requirements.
NSW Fair Trading also regulates community gaming under the Community Gaming Act 2018 (NSW) and the Community Gaming Regulation 2020 (NSW).
Community gaming includes housie, bingo, lotteries, sweeps, raffles and Calcutta events.
Visit the NSW Fair Trading website for more information about community gaming.