Tuesday, 19 February, 2019

Working group submits report

New law on cards to make fundraising easier

18 Jan 2018, 01:43 ( 18 Jan, 2018) | updated: 18 Jan 2018, 10:13 ( 18 Jan, 2018)

DF Report
The working group on Wednesday submitted its report to Minister of the Interior Paula Risikko the enactment of a new Fundraising Act. Photo Ministry of interior.

The government has taken a move to enact a new law to make the process of fundraising easier.

A working group appointed in this regard on Wednesday submitted its report to Interior Minister Paula Risikko recommending enactment of a new fundraising act.

The report recommended replacing the current fixed-term money collection licences that are required each time fundraising is arranged with a system of licences granted for an indefinite period. The proposed law would enable small-scale civic fundraising to be arranged without the need for an official licence, said an official press release.

“A new Fundraising Act in the form proposed would make it considerably easier and simpler to organise fundraising,” said Sini Lahdenperä, a senior officer at the interior ministry.

In the proposed act, fundraising would require either a fundraising licence granted by the National Police Board for an indefinite period or the submission of a small-scale fundraising notification to a police department.

To obtain a fundraising licence there would be a general requirement that the fundraising organiser is a not-for-profit entity and that the fundraising is for charitable purposes. The fundraising organiser would also have to be a corporation or foundation registered in Finland.

A licence would not be needed for small-scale fundraising, which would instead require a notification to be submitted to a police department. There would be no requirement for the organiser of small-scale fundraising to be a not-for-profit entity nor would the fundraising have to be for charitable purposes.

However, the legislative proposals would not allow the organisation of small-scale fundraising to support a business activity or to accumulate wealth for a private individual or a legal person. According to the proposal, a small-scale fundraiser could organise fundraising up to twice per calendar year and the maximum amount raised each time would be set at EUR 10,000. The organiser of a small-scale fundraising would be restricted to associations, foundations or religious communities registered in Finland and political parties entered in the party register. In addition, groups of at least three adults who are permanent residents in Finland would be permitted to organise small-scale fundraising.

The proposed act would retain the opportunity to organise fundraising to assist a single individual or family in financial difficulty, either as fundraising subject to licence or as small-scale fundraising. The opportunity for fundraising for furthering the study or recreational activities of a day-care centre group, school class or established study or hobby group without the need for a licence would also continue to remain in force.

As before, public sector entities would not have the right to organise fundraising. However, universities, universities of applied sciences, the Finnish National Gallery and the parishes and parish unions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the Orthodox Church of Finland would be permitted to organise fundraising. The proposed fundraising act would lay down separate provisions for this.

With the aid of annual notifications and accounts rendered for small-scale fundraising, the National Police Board and police departments would be able to monitor fundraising activities to ensure that the raised funds are used lawfully, the level of fundraising costs is moderate, and the purpose of a fundraising is notified.

The proposed act is scheduled to be submitted as a legislative proposal to parliament in early autumn 2018. The act would then enter into force in spring 2019.