What is a charity

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Not for profit

Any organisation or club collecting money or goods from the public for charitable purposes, needs to be licensed under the Charitable Collections Act 1946. There is no fee required for a licence, however each of the Principal Executive Officers must provide a National Police Certificate.  

To apply for a licence, the organisation needs to lodge an application through the Charitable Collections Advisory Committee. This Committee consists of five independent members appointed by the Governor. The Committee meet on a monthly basis to consider new applications and make recommendations to the Department in regards to all charity licensing matters.

 

Who needs to be licensed?

Any organisation that collects money or goods from the public for:

  • the relief of the sick, infirm, incurable, poor, destitute, helpless or unemployed people or their dependants;
  • the relief of distress caused by war, and the support of people who have been members of the armed forces;
  • animal welfare, conservation and environmental causes;
  • the support of hospitals, infant health centres and other activities of a social or welfare character; or
  • any benevolent, philanthropic or patriotic purpose.

Who does not need to be licensed?

Any organisation that collects and receives money from the public for non charitable purposes such as social and sporting clubs, and schools or kindergartens that operate their own fundraising events.

Please note that animal welfare, conservation and environmental causes are now deemed to be included in the definition of charitable purpose under the Charitable Collections Act (1946) and these organisations will need to submit an application for a licence prior to carrying out any fundraising or seeking any donations to assist their cause.

Raffles

If you wish to raise funds for a charitable purpose by the sale of raffle tickets, lotteries or gaming activities you will require a charitable collections licence.

You may also require a permit from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries – Racing, Gaming and Liquor. For further information on permits for raffles, lotteries and gaming activities please visit the Racing, Gaming and Liquor website or phone (08) 6551 4888.

Crowdfunding

The term “crowdfunding” refers to the practice of raising funds through the pooling of relatively small financial contributions from a large number of investors, usually through an online platform. Online Crowdfunding Guidelines have been produced to highlight when a licence is or is not required for donation-based crowd funding for a charitable purpose.  

What does a licence cover?

A charitable collection licence covers the:

  • receiving of bequests and donations for a charitable purpose;
  • collection of monies and goods from the public by way of the sale of any disc, badge, token, flower or other device;
  • conduct of any entertainment or function where admission is charged and all or part proceeds are said to go to a charitable purpose;
  • advertising of all or part proceeds from any event are to go to charitable purposes; and
  • donation of goods ie. the operation of clothing bins and op-shops for charitable purposes.

Licensing requirements

To obtain a licence you will need to lodge the following with the Charitable Collections Advisory Committee:

  • a completed application form;
  • details of members of the management committee of the organisation. The three primary office holders are required to complete a Principal Executive Officer Declaration form;
  • copies of certificate of incorporation and constitution or if a corporation memorandum and articles of association of the organisation, except where the organisation is incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 2015 in Western Australia;
  • financial returns for the last twelve months including income and expenditure statement plus balance sheet;
  • information as to whether any other organisation is operating in the field for which you propose to fundraise and whether you have approached that organisation; and
  • fundraising details, including how much you intend to raise in the first year of operation.

Fees payable to be licensed

Currently there are no fees to be paid to be licensed under the Charitable Collections Act 1946.

Period of licence

Licences are issued for a period of three years and can be renewed after that time by the Minister for Commerce and Industrial Relations for another period of three years.

Voluntary Code Of Practice for fundraising

Once an organisation becomes licensed it may choose to comply with the voluntary code of practice for public fundraising. The code sets out certain guidelines which are of benefit to charitable organisations that propose to raise monies from the community.

Further information

The following links provide further information on Charities:

Contacts

The Administrative Officer
Charitable Collections Advisory Committee
Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
Level 2, Gordon Stephenson House
140 William Street, Perth

Telephone: 6552 9364
Postal Address: Locked Bag 14, Cloisters Square WA 6850
Email: charities@dmirs.wa.gov.au.

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