Legal Help

25 September 2013

What we do to help!

There are a number of ways we can help!

We can:

  • provide legal information; or
  • provide telephone advice (from our in-house lawyers on a call-back basis); or
  • make a referral for pro bono assistance from one of our member law firms (for more complex legal matters); or
  • refer you to another body who may more appropriately help you (including to other legal services).

Who do we help?

We try to help everyone. The type of help that we can provide will depend on a few things. This includes:

  • the type of legal matter;
  • the type of organisation (it must be not not-for-profit and serve the public interest); and
  • if the organisation has advice or assistance readily available to them (on a paid or unpaid basis).

When don’t we help?

We generally don’t help with the following legal matters:

  • internal disputes (like a dispute between your organisation and a member, or disputes between board members) – however, we have factsheets on internal disputes and can let you know about free dispute resolution services 
  • disputes between two or more not-for-profit organisations
  • complicated disputes including where court action has been taken or is likely to be taken

We generally don’t help the following groups:

  • trade unions
  • political associations
  • residential action groups
  • statutory bodies
  • privately controlled foundations or corporate foundations
  • for-profit businesses (unless a not-for-profit is seeking to set up a for-profit social enterprise)

Are you just starting-up a not-for-profit organisation?

If you are starting-up a not-for-profit we will first ask that you do some thinking about the following:

  • the objectives of the proposed organisation; and
  • what existing services are already available (is a new organisation needed or is there the potential to work with an existing organisation); and
  • details of the proposed things the organisation will do; and
  • how the group will be funded; and
  • the membership of the group.

Start-up organisations should read through our Getting Started resources at Before we can provide telephone assistance in starting a not-for-profit, we will also ask that first you listen to one of our free “Getting Started” webinars, complete the free Checklist and free Decision Framework (which, when completed will send you a tailored report about your organisation).

Our full eligibility guidelines

All of the above considerations (who we help and how we help) are also set out in our criteria for assistance, which you can access here.

Make an enquiry

You might quickly find the answer to your question at our Information Hub at (it has over 200 legal resources available for free).

If not, and you organisation is eligible, please complete the online enquiry form below. This is the quickest and easiest way for us to deal with your enquiry. 

If you cannot access the online enquiry form you can call us and leave a message on 1800 NFP LAW (1800 637 529). 

Legal Enquiry Form

We will use the information you provide below to assess your organisation's eligibility for help from a lawyer. We may require further information.

Contact person's details


Your organisation's details

If your organisation does not yet have a name please write 'no name yet'.
Please include postcode.
If your organisation does not have a website please write 'none'.
Are you looking to create a new not-for-profit organisation? If so, please read our information resources at for information on incorporation, legal structures, registering as a charity and setting up an organisation.

Not-for-profit Law update & disclaimers