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 Government submitted a proposal on a new Fundraising Act to Parliament on 25 October 2018. The new Act would replace 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, and would enable small-scale civic fundraising to be arranged by submitting a notification to a police department.