Collecting money for a charity
Any person or organisation wishing to seek donations from the public in Western Australia for a charitable cause is required to be licenced under the Charitable Collections Act 1946.
Collections for the following charitable purposes will require a licence:
- relief of the sick, infirm, incurable, poor, destitute, helpless or unemployed people or their dependants.
- 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.
Fundraising for sporting activities, schools or kindergartens and religious worship are not deemed charitable purposes under the Act and do not require a licence.
Fundraising for yourself or a dependent family member
If you are raising money on your own behalf or as a parent/guardian on behalf of a child or dependent family member, the collections are not considered to be charitable purposes and a licence will not be required.
Fundraising activities for charitable purposes can include organising events, online fundraising (including Facebook and GoFundMe), raffles, mail outs, street appeals and door to door collections.
An organisation should not conduct any of the following activities without a licence:
- requesting or receiving donations from the public (both online and in person);
- raising money through the sale of goods such as badges, tokens, flowers or food;
- holding events or functions, such as quiz nights, where an admission fee is charged and all or part proceeds are said to go to the charitable purpose;
- advertising that all or part proceeds from any event will go to the charitable purpose.
- collecting donated goods to distribute to the charitable purpose, e.g. giving donated food hampers to needy people, or to sell and raise money for the charitable purpose by clothing bin collections, op-shops.
A licence is not required if an organisation does not intend to collect money directly from the public, for example raising funds through:
- government and Lotterywest grants,
- membership subscriptions,
- and gaming machines.
Applying for a licence
An application for a charitable collections licence can be lodged with the Department of Energy, Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety – Consumer Protection Division.
More information about this process is available on the Apply for a licence page.
One-off and short term appeals
The community is very responsive when tragic events occur or someone is in need. If an appeal is a one-off or short term it may be more practical to fundraise under the authority of an existing licence holder instead of establishing a charitable organisation and applying for a licence.
It is an offence to collect money or goods from the public for charitable purposes without a licence or the authority of a licence holder. Do not proceed with the proposed fundraising activity if you are unable to obtain a licence or authority to fundraise.
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