A guide to licensing - Charitable collections
Organisations wishing to collect money or goods from the public for charity may need to be licensed. Organisations wanting to conduct a street collection must have a permit.
Charitable Collections Advisory Committee
The Charitable Collections Advisory Committee makes recommendations to the Commissioner for Consumer Protection for the licensing of organisations wishing to collect money or goods from the public for charitable purposes. The committee consists of five independent members including a chairperson.
Who needs to be licensed?
Any organisation collecting 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;
- the support of hospitals, infant health centres, schools, kindergartens and other activities of a social or welfare character;
- any benevolent, philanthropic or patriotic purpose.
Who does not need to be licensed?
Organisations that collect and receive money from the public for non-charitable purposes do not need to be licensed, for example: sporting clubs; social groups and schools or kindergartens that operate their own fund raising events.
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: www.dlgsc.wa.gov.au or phone (08) 6551 4888.
Any organisation wanting to conduct a street collection in the Perth metropolitan area, whether or not licensed under the Charitable Collections Act 1946, must have a separate street collection permit. Street collections conducted under the Street Collections (Regulations) Act 1940 must be held on a Friday unless otherwise approved by the Commissioner for Consumer Protection.
Application forms for street collections and charitable collections licensing are available on the website or from Charitable Collections Licensing branch.
What does a charitable collections licence cover?
A licence covers:
- collection of money and goods from the public through the sale of any disc, badge, token, flower or other device;
- admission charged for any entertainment or function when all or part proceeds are said to go to a charitable purpose;
- advertising that suggests all or part proceeds from any event are to go to charitable purposes; and
- the donation of goods, eg the operation of clothing bins and op shops for a charitable purpose.
To obtain a licence your organisation will need to lodge with the Charitable Collections Advisory Commitee:
- a completed application form and covering submission with details of the charity/organisation and why it requires a charity licence in Western Australia;
- a completed Principal Executive Officer Declaration and Consent form for each of the principal executive officers nominated on the application form;
- an original police clearance, no older than six months, for each of those officers;
- copies of the certificate of incorporation and constitution (or the memorandum and articles of association if appropriate) except where the organisation is incorporated under the Associations Incorporation Act 2015 in Western Australia; and
- a copy of the financial accounts for the last 12 months including income and expenditure statements, plus a balance sheet.
Applicants are also required to supply:
- 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
- a fundraising plan, including how much you intend to raise in the first year of operation.
Fees and period of licence
No fees are charged for licensing under the Charitable Collections Act (1946). Licences are usually issued for three years and can be renewed for further periods of three years by the Commissioner for Consumer Protection.
All charitable organisations licensed under the Charitable Collections Act (1946) are required to submit to the Charitable Collections Advisory Committee audited financial statements within six months of the end of each financial year.
Code of practice for fund raising
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 which propose to raise money from the community.
We recommend you refer to the Charitable Collections Act (1946) and Street Collections (Regulations) Act (1940) the for a more detailed explanation of this topic. They are available from the State Law Publisher.
Need some assistance?
Contact the Charitable Collections Licensing section directly with any questions you might have.
Gordon Stephenson House
Level 2, 140 William Street
Perth, Western Australia 6000
Telephone: (08) 6552 9364
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