A not-for-profit organisation is an organisation that operates without the aim of making profit for its owners or members. Instead, the money raised by the organisation is directed towards the organisation’s aims and objectives
LawRight is able to assist not-for-profit organisations where those organisations face a specific legal problem, for example, negotiating entry into a contract.
LawRight is unable to assist not-for-profit organisations to resolve internal disputes, for example disputes between members, directors and/or committee members. LawRight is also unable to assist not-for-profit organisations which are in dispute with one or more other not-for-profit organisations. We are unable to assist in these cases as it is not our position to judge in which individual or organisation's case the public interest lies.
LawRight prioritises free legal help to those organisations which have charitable purposes, address individual and community disadvantage and serve a wide group of people. We generally cannot assist sporting organisations, religious organisations and corporate foundations but may be able to assist with a specific legal problem where there is legal merit in doing so and securing a resolution of the problem is in the public interest.
If you are seeking to establish a not-for-profit organisation, please refer to the resources below prior to submitting an application for pro bono assistance to LawRight. Often, people wishing to establish not-for-profit organisations can do so without legal representation so we will only refer these applicants in limited circumstances. If you do apply to LawRight for assistance to establish a not-for-profit organisation, please address the points below in your application.
Eligibility for assistance
LawRight will be unlikely to assist people seeking legal help to establish a not-for-profit organisation unless they are able to demonstrate that they have considered the following:
- The aim and purpose of the organisation;
- The method in which the organisation will be managed or run;
- The main activities or services the organisation will provide;
- The short and long term funding requirements of the organisation and how these requirements will be met;
- Whether existing groups, organisations or charities and relevant stakeholders support the establishment of a new organisation;
- The skills the applicants have in managing a not-for-profit organisation;
- The skills or expertise the applicants have in the proposed area of operation; and
- That all other available external resources (as outlined below) for setting up not-for-profit organisations have been exhausted.
- 'Getting Started: Establishing a Community Organisation' - Community Door
- 'Fundraising foundations and charitable trusts' - Justice Connect 'Changing your legal structure from an association incorporated in Queensland to a company limited by guarantee' - Community Door
- 'Regulation of charities in Queensland' - Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission
- Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status - Justice Connect
- Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (Qld) This Act provides for incorporation of certain associations,for the regulations of the affairs of incorporated associations.
- Collections Act 1966 (Qld)This Act relates to collections from the public for purposes of charity.
- Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)This Act contains provisions in relation to corporations, securities and financial products and services.
- Office of Fair Trading - The Office of Fair Trading is responsible for registering incorporated associations, charities and cooperatives in Queensland.
- Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission - The ACNC is the national regulator of charities. It can assist you registering and managing your organisation as a charity.
- The Australian Taxation Office - The ATO administers the process for having your organisation endorsed as a deductible gift recipient (DGR). The ATO website explains what a DGR endorsement is and how you can obtain it for your organisation.
- Community Door - Community Door has lots of information online to assist you to establish and manage your organisation.
- Not-for-profit-Law - Not-for-profit Law is operated by Justice Connect. The Not-for-profit Law website can guide you through the process of establishing and managing your organisation. Not-for-profit Law has information that applies nationally as well as information specific to Queensland.
- You may wish to approach a community legal centre for assistance. To find your nearest community legal centre, please visit the Community Legal Centres Queensland website at www.communitylegalqld.org.au . There are a number of community legal centres throughout Queensland that hold regular advice sessions.
- LawRight is an independent, not-for-profit, community-based legal organisation that operates a civil law referral service for pro bono legal representation and direct legal services for particular disadvantaged client groups.For more information about the help available, and the process for applying for help, please see the LawRight website at www.lawright.org.au