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What Do Not-for-Profits Need Most For Compliance Requirements?

One of the challenges Not-for-profit organisations in Australia have, is a set of laws they must comply with to avoid facing severe penalties from the government. These laws are put in place in order to protect the interest of the public, and workers (including volunteers) within the organisation.

These laws also assist Not-for-profits to operate within a set of standards so that they can enjoy the privileges of Not-For-Profit (NFP) status, and help them stay focused on their charitable purpose.

What are Not-for-profit compliance requirements in Australia?

There are a few requirements that Not-for-profit organisations are expected to meet in Australia. These requirements are mainly divided into two categories. Let’s discuss each of them in detail below.

Australian Not-for-profit Organisation Laws

The first requirement Not-for-profits are expected to meet is the basic laws governing the creation and operation of a charity organisation. These requirements are either at the State or Federal level, depending on the type of structure chosen.

One such requirement is the law of incorporation. The law requires charity organisations to have a physical contact point, meet at least once in a year, keep registers of members and committees, and be ready to submit reports whenever required.

Another requirement is Tax Office status. This requires non-profit organisations to be endorsed by the Australian Tax Office to receive a tax exempt status.

The third requirement under this category has to do with the company’s fundraising practices. The law requires non-for-profit organisations to abide by certain rules and regulations guiding their methods of raising funds.

Not-For-Profit Standard Laws

This second category covers the overall activity of the organisation and the well-being of the workers or volunteers as the case may be.

An example of this is occupational or work health and safety law. This legislation mandates charities to provide a conducive and healthy work environment for their staff.

This also implies that the contact point where members of the organisation hold their annual meetings must meet the health and safety requirements for such gatherings.

Another law to be considered is anti-discrimination law. This legislation requires Not-For-Profits to recruit, employ and allow any qualified individual to join and participate in the activities of the organisation without disqualifying them on the basis of race, gender or other biases.

Additionally, Not-For-Profits must heed privacy law. This particular law requires not-for-profit organisations to protect the private details of people committed to their trust. The organisation must never sell the personal information or its members/recipients of its service, or use them for anything other than the intended purpose.

Not-For-Profits must also ensure that the assets (properties etc.) of the organisation are well protected. Personal interests must never be allowed to cause issues that may lead to their misuse or destruction.

These are some of the requirements Not-For-Profits are expected to meet in Australia. Though some laws governing Not-For-Profits vary from state to state, they are predominantly similar. A Not-For-Profit organisation must undertake effective and thorough due diligence prior to its establishment to ensure the appropriate structure chosen is ideal (i.e. register as a company, register as an incorporated association or register as a registered Australian body).