Fundraisers need a permit

Fundraisers appeal to the general public for donations. When fundraising, donors receive nothing in exchange for donating money.

In Finland, fundraising is subject to a permit. Non-profit corporations or foundations engaged in activities that are in the public interest can be granted a permit to finance their activities. Not all activities performed by such a corporation need to be in the public interest, but funds collected through fundraising must be used for such a purpose. A fundraising permit is valid for a maximum of five years.

Permits are granted by local police departments and the National Police Board. Police departments may grant permits for their areas. The National Police Board grants fundraising permits for fundraising done in an area extending beyond the jurisdiction of a single police department.

Money collected through fundraising must be used for the purpose laid down in the fundraising permit. If the funds raised, or part of the funds, cannot be used for the purpose designated in the permit, the fundraiser may submit a new application to change the intended use of the funds.

The Money Collection Act lays down certain exemptions, for when a permit is not required. A fundraising permit is not needed for fundraising carried out by a day-care centre group, a school class or an established study or hobby group at their own events, if a legally competent person is in charge of the duties involved in arranging fundraising.

Aiming to revamp the current system

The Ministry of the Interior is in the process of drawing up a preliminary report on fundraising, with the purpose of mapping out the current status and the related development requirements. The aim is to examine alternative models in order to improve fundraising. Another aim is to adhere to the principles of the Money Collection Act in order to prevent illegitimate fundraising activities.

During the previous government's term, a project was begun to overhaul the Money Collection Act. A number of broad questions emerged on the content of the reform during the drafting stage. The preliminary report examines questions dealing with issues such as the non-profit nature of fundraising and permit procedures. The project involves an assessment of the need to begin a legislative project.