Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Calling all Australian fundraisers - Urgently

The Australian Treasury have launched their consultation document on fundraising.

The document can be obtained here, and more information here.

The FIA board are meeting on 21 Feb and will discuss their response - if you are a member, then let your representative know your views.  If you are a member of the FIAs LinkedIn discussion group then you can also make your views known there.

For me as a fundraiser, it looks pretty benign.  But it is not necessarily going to replace state and territory rules with national ones (I don't believe the Commonwealth has the power to do that) but it does hopefully lead the way for harmonization.

My biggest worry is the cost of fundraising / admin issue.  It is complex and hard to explain to donors and the general public and 'league tables' like those in the US are really not helpful, even on a charity wide basis.  It is not fair to accuse Surf Life Saving of being an ineffective charity just based on their cost of fundraising - as happened in the press recently.

For each charity it depends on what stage of development their fundraising is, how sexy the cause is, whether they are growing or staying steady and more.  A charity getting lots of bequests looks better than one that doesn't.

Comparing like this is simply unhelpful.  For example, one charity could  have a fundraising event where a sponsor - say a printer - provides all the materials for free.  Another, doing the same event, must pay the printer but a different sponsor donates an amount to cover the cost of the print.  Both raise the same, spend the same, but the second one looks like it has a worse cost of fundraising because the costs went through its books.

Please have a read through the document - I know, you are busy and some could see it as boring; but it is very important!  Then respond.  Please send them a submission; plenty of non-fundraisers will.


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