What are the laws surrounding online and social media fundraisers?
Social media fundraisers can be a great tool to raise money for schools, social issues, and other organizations, but they also represent a grey area in the law.
A series of unintended complications have led to the illegal use of social media in Australian schools and other organisations, it has been revealed. Ms Barber received a lot of attention on social media and the fundraiser raised an astonishing $51 million. Her desire to support people affected by bushfires in NSW was underlined by the fact she launched a fundraiser and donated to the cause.
Ms Barber said the money donated would go to victims of the bushfires, but some donors also expressed hope the donations could be shared with other charities. But when it came time to distribute the funds, things became complicated.
The RFS has taken the matter to the NSW Supreme Court and sought advice from the Australian Civil and Human Rights Commission (ACRC) and the Federal Court of Australia (FCA).
In his ruling, Judge Slattery found that the donor had donated to the RFS in accordance with the published terms. Despite the hopes and intentions of donors such as Ms Barber, the donations were not used for the purposes indicated by the RFS.
The general rule is that you have a donation permit before asking the public for donations, but there are exceptions. However, each state and territory in Australia has its own rules and regulations on the use of donations to charity. Consider the following list of online fundraisers that can be started for charity under the RFS’s fundraising rules.
In Queensland, churches and other recognized religious denominations (such as the Anglican Church of Australia) are exempt from the requirement to collect donations for fundraisers.
Therefore, individuals who collect donations to an organization should ensure that their organization has met all legal requirements before starting a fundraising campaign. If you use a sweepstakes (such as a sweepstakes) to collect donations, other laws apply to your campaign. The penalty for unlawful solicitation of donations can range from a fine to a prison sentence. Fundraising laws do not apply when you solicit donations via a crowdfunding platform.
The organisation must ensure that the fundraising campaign is in line with its guidelines, and the charity must also ensure that the donations are in line with its charitable purpose. These considerations also promote the intended use of funds and are relevant to the use of funds within the organisation.
Celeste Barber’s campaign highlighted some of these problems in her recent New York Times article in response to a question from a member of the public about the lack of transparency.
As described above, the fundraiser was launched with the intention of raising money for the RFS PayPal Giving Fund. When the amount raised during the campaign far exceeded expectations, Barber joined Facebook donors in calling for the funds to be split among organisations helping with bushfire relief in addition to the RFS. However, given the lack of transparency of the funds received from TAFE and the failure to share the funds with other organisations, it has been suggested that the RFS should better distribute donations to other organisations to help with recovery from the bushfires. According to its escrow, R FS is obliged to use the funds received in accordance with its charitable purposes.
The RFS Trust Deed states its sole purpose is to support the Rural Fires Brigade and its members’ fire and rescue services, the brigades established under the Rural Fire Service Act 1997 in NSW. The trust document goes on to say: “The proceeds from the R FS Trust Fund should be made available to the fire service to enable the procurement and maintenance of fire equipment, training and resources and to help them cover the costs of all the brigades involved in voluntary activities in their fire service activities.
It appears that Ms Barber’s intention is to raise funds for bushfire relief in general, but the RFS Trust Deed indicates that changes can be made that would change the purpose of the Trust Fund. However, given the specific purpose for which it is engaged, there is no obligation to donate any or all of the proceeds to other charities or to use them for purposes other than its charitable purpose. Is it possible, in this case, to manage the expansion of its activities without changing its guidelines? Is the objective of the FFSO incompatible with that purpose or is the TFS working for a specific purpose?
Australian consumer law states that a person may not conduct business or business that may be misleading or misleading. An organisation must be careful not to mislead or mislead people in the process of obtaining funds, and it must not mislead them.
Depending on the type of fundraiser, a fundraiser may or may not be considered a “fundraiser,” depending on whether it is in retail or non-retail. Whether the fundraiser takes place in the “retail” or “off-trade” sector depends on the individual case.
The risk of misleading or misleading donation activities arises when an organization pretends that the donations it receives are used for a particular purpose or when the funds or part of them are used for that purpose. The Celeste Barber Campaign also stresses the need for donors to make clear to donors the purpose of their donation before making a donation.