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Fix fundraising: ‘The horse has well and truly bolted’

The battle to fix fundraising and achieve reforms using the existing state and territory regimes is lost, says the head of Not-for-profit Law at Justice Connect.

Sue Woodward, who has been a leading voice in the long-running #fixfundraising campaign, stated that “despite goodwill and ongoing stellar efforts by some of the states” she believes the issue has been overrun by the digital world.

“Drawing on a three-word descriptor from our former prime minister Tony Abbott, I think the likelihood of being able to achieve a fit-for-purpose charitable fundraising regime, out of the existing seven different regimes, is dead, buried and cremated,” Woodward said.

She said digital platforms were “clearly the main game” and she advocated for efforts to be put towards tailoring Australian Consumer Law, rather than fighting to streamline state-based legislation.

According to Woodward, adapting Australian Consumer Law would deliver a principles-based protection for donors against being misled, deceived, coerced and harassed, and the “simplicity and clarity” would also help fundraisers, be they charities, platforms or individuals.

“Some of the states are trying really hard. I know they are frustrated with their legislation and they are trying to do something, they understand the problem, but I feel for them… it’s just going to be an effort that is wasted. It is redundant now, it is going to be even more redundant soon,” she said.

To view the ProBono article in full, click here.

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