Charity collection types
There are a variety of ways to raise money for charitable purposes. Before commencing any fundraising activity, an organisation should make sure that it is familiar with any relevant legislative requirements and any necessary permits are in place.
Door to door collections
A licence holder may carry out door to door collections from households between 9am and 6pm on Mondays to Saturdays. No collections are allowed outside these times or on Sundays or Public Holidays without special approval from Consumer Protection.
All collectors must be over 16 years old and may be either volunteers or paid collectors.
Organisations who conduct door to door collections must ensure:
- Collectors wear consecutively numbered identification badges that state the name of the collecting organisation, the name of the collector and specify the period of the authority to collect.
- Collectors must show their identification badge when requesting donations or selling goods for charitable purposes.
- Collectors must issue a receipt for all donations received and goods sold.
- All receipts must be consecutively numbered and bear the name and address of the organisation collected for.
- Collecting boxes must include the name of the organisation for which the appeal is being made.
Licence holders may use telephone marketing to contact the public to solicit donations or market goods.
Telephone marketing calls can be made between 9am and 8pm on Mondays to Saturdays. No calls are allowed outside these times or on Sundays or Public Holidays without special approval from Consumer Protection.
To raise money through the sale of raffle tickets, lotteries or gaming activities an organisation may need to apply for a permit through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries – Racing, Gaming and Liquor. Please visit the Racing, Gaming and Liquor website under the Gaming Applications tab, or telephone (08) 6551 4888 for more information.
Please note that if the fundraising is for a charitable purpose a WA charitable collections licence is also required.
Shopping centre collections
High pedestrian traffic can make shopping centres attractive places to conduct fundraising activities. It is important to obtain permission from the shopping centre management prior to starting any collection activities within a complex.
Online donations and crowd fundraising
Providing options for the public to make donations online allows licence holders to receive monies at any time while minimising the costs associated with employing people to work as collectors.
If an organisation provides facilities for the public to make donations through its website it must ensure that the system includes a secure payment process.
Crowd fundraising using online platforms has become another common way of raising money. Campaigns are easy to set up and can be promoted or shared via social media. Organisations using crowd funding platforms must ensure that accurate information is provided about how the funds will be used. It is also important to include full contact details for the collecting organisation in case a donor wants to confirm that the collection is legitimate (see also Protect yourself from scams).
Street collections conducted in the Perth metropolitan area require a separate permit under the Street Collections (Regulations) Act 1940. Street collections are generally held on Fridays and collectors cannot be paid for participating.
More information is available on the Street collections page.
Fundraising and the Australian Consumer Law (ACL)
Depending on the nature of the fundraising activities the requirements of the ACL may apply to a charitable collections licence holder. The ACL provides a range of specific obligations in relation to unfair practices, consumer transactions and safety of products and product related services.
Generally, if an organisation:
- engages in a fundraising activity involving a supply of goods or services; or
- is a for-profit professional fundraiser; or
- is fundraising in an organised, continuous and repetitive way
then the fundraising activity is likely deemed to be in “trade or commerce” and certain obligations under the ACL will apply.
For information about the obligations of fundraisers under the ACL please refer to the Guide to the Australian Consumer Law - For fundraising and other activities of charities, not-for-profits and fundraisers.