Giving charities and people who support them clearer information is the focus of a new Code of Practice coming into force today.
Minister for Business Services and Consumers John Rau says the Charities Code of Practice
is important for all charitable organisations, their workers and their donors.
“The charities sector is vitally important and the aim of this Code of Practice is to promote greater public confidence in charities through increasing transparency and availability of information.” Mr Rau said
“Most charities do the right thing and will have no problems abiding by the Code, but there have been a number of cases where people posing as bona fide charity collectors have duped members of the public.”
“South Australians deserve to know when a collector is legitimate and when they’re not.”
After significant public consultation, the Code has taken into consideration concerns and suggestions raised by charities, current licensees and donors.
Charities promoting their campaigns will have to clearly state the purpose of what donated funds are being used for. Collectors’ identifications will specify the collector’s name or unique identifier, the charity and indicate whether they are a paid collector or a volunteer.
Collections from private addresses can now only occur on weekdays between 9am and 6pm, on Saturdays only until 5pm, and on Sundays and public holidays (excluding Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Christmas Day) between 11am and 5pm.
Telephone solicitation for donations are restricted to weekdays between 9am and 8pm. Saturdays’ times are limited to 9am to 5pm, and charities may not seek donations on Sundays or any public holidays.
“Some collectors have been known to enter donors into arrangements where they have unknowingly committed to payments they were not informed of. This Code means donors need to be clearly told what they are getting into before they sign” Mr Rau said.
The Code requires charities to maintain health and safety procedures which protect collectors and ensure they are not in places where it’s inappropriate to be working alone, or to suspend collections in the case of extreme weather conditions.
All charitable organisations and licensees have been provided with a copy of the Code. The
Charities Code of Practice can be accessed at www.cbs.sa.gov.au