Advice for Queenslanders wanting to collect for the bushfire appeal

10 January 2020

Australia’s ongoing bushfire emergency has seen an outpouring of generosity from people wanting to donate money to help out, with many high-profile celebrities raising staggering sums for the cause.

For Queenslanders who are thinking of joining the growing number of people fundraising or collecting to help people affected by the current national bushfire crisis, the Office of Fair Trading has some advice on how to do it.

Office of Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said while it is admirable that so many individuals want to do something to help their fellow Australians who have lost everything, local wildlife hospitals and rural fire services, it is important that people understand there are some rules around fundraising and there is a right way to go about it.

“The simplest way for people wanting to fundraise is to team up with an existing registered charity, ,” Mr Bauer said.

“These, and other registered charities, can give you authorisation to fundraise on their behalf.

“Once you have authorisation, it is a simple process of collecting the funds and passing them on to that charity, without any need to seek approval from the Office of Fair Trading.”

Other options to register groups and organisations to become charities, or to obtain a sanction for a one-off appeal, are available. More information about fundraising for a charitable purpose can be found on the Office of Fair Trading’s website.

Consumers who wish to donate are reminded to beware of fake appeals and are urged to use Fair Trading’s free online search to see whether or not a charity they are considering donating to is legitimate. Other ways to check include searching the Australian Charity and Not for Profit Commission’s register to see if the organisation has been given charitable status for tax purposes