Refusal of fundraising registration

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Reasons for refusal of registration

We will refuse a fundraiser registration application if: 

  • the applicant fails to supply written consent from their nominated beneficiaries or other information required under the Fundraising Act 1998 (the Act)
  • the applicant or appeal manager: 
    • has been found guilty of a disqualifying offence or an offence under the Act during the 10 years prior to applying 
    • is an insolvent under administration, an externally administered body corporate or a represented person under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986
  • a person named in the application was an appeal manager for a fundraising appeal conducted by a person found guilty of a disqualifying offence during the 10 years prior to applying 
  • the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria has reasonable grounds to suspect that the person(s) conducting the fundraising will not comply with the Act, the fundraising will not be conducted in good faith for the stated purpose, or it would be contrary to the public interest.

We can also refuse registration if:

  • the application contains false or misleading information, significant omissions or incomplete or vague information 
  • our Director believes the person named as the appeal manager is not a fit and proper person to be associated with a fundraising appeal 
  • the application is submitted less than 28 days before the fundraising is intended to commence 
  • any associate of the applicant: 
    • is an insolvent under administration or an externally administered body corporate 
    • has been found guilty of a disqualifying offence, or was an appeal manager for someone found guilty of a disqualifying offence, in the 10 years prior to the application 
    • is deemed not a fit and proper person by our Director.

Disqualifying offence

A disqualifying offence is: 

  • any offence involving fraud, dishonesty, violence or drug trafficking that is punishable by imprisonment for three months or more for an individual or by a fine of $10,000 or more for a corporation 
  • an offence under the Act. 

Fit and proper person

The term 'fit and proper' in relation to office holders or directors conducting fundraising can include consideration of appropriate experience, skills, character, reputation, knowledge, conduct and demonstrated compliance.

Public interest

While it is not specifically defined in the Act, 'public interest' has been interpreted by the courts in a broad range of contexts. It must be assessed according to the particular circumstances.

The concept of 'public interest' requires that fundraisers operate according to community attitudes and expectations, and that beneficiaries receive the greatest possible benefit from public donations. We can refuse to register fundraisers if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that their fundraising activity is contrary to the public interest.

An example of fundraising that might not be considered in the public interest is when the amount spent on the cost of fundraising is unreasonably large compared to the amount distributed to the beneficiaries.