Folau’s GoFundMe take down highlights murky fundraising rules

The shutdown of Israel Folau’s GoFundMe campaign raising money for his legal challenge against Rugby Australia has prompted calls from the fundraising sector for stricter regulation of international crowdfunding.

Folau’s fundraiser, which on Sunday night had raised over $750,000 of it’s $3 million target, was closed by GoFundMe on Monday for violating the company’s terms of service, with a refund issued to all donors.

Nicola Britton, GoFundMe Australian regional manager, said while the platform wanted to engage in diverse and civil debate, it would not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.

Sue Woodward, the head of Not-for-profit Law, told Pro Bono News this demonstrated a need to review fundraising laws.

“I understand (Australian crowdfunding platforms have) been put at a competitive disadvantage because they need to comply with state-based fundraising laws but overseas platforms don’t,” Woodward said.

“This is another reason to look at fundraising reforms by using the Australian Consumer Law because it covers any overseas corporations who conduct activities in Australia.”

To view the ProBono article in full, click here.

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