Circular 40/22 Draft SOP 1 – Funding our charitable purpose

Further to the District Presidents’ Council meeting on Thursday 15 September, all RSL NSW sub-Branches are invited to provide feedback on the draft Standard Operating Procedure 1 (SOP 1) to the District Presidents’ Council, via their District Councils, by 15 November 2022.

Individual members can also provide feedback directly to the District Presidents’ Council via

Links to relevant documents:

FAQs in relation to the Draft SOP 1

What has been changed from the existing SOP 1?

The new SOP 1 reflects what the District Presidents’ Council endorsed with respect to sub-Branches operating and funding the Charitable Purpose in their ‘local areas’ as defined in the SOP, and the cessation of donations to non-RSL related veteran charities such as Legacy and the Vietnam Veterans Associations/Federation (which is not noted in existing SOP1 however is listed on the RSL NSW website).

All SOPs currently include both policy and procedure. The intention is to eventually separate policy and procedure under the RSL NSW Written Directions Framework. This means that there will be both a policy document, which will contain the policy aspects that underpin the SOPs, and the associated SOP will retain the procedural aspects. Until this occurs and is approved, policy aspects remain in this draft SOP 1.

The current calculation for sub-Branch donations to ‘RSL DefenceCare/ANZAC House’ has been removed. However, a sub-Branch contribution calculation for the Veteran Support Fund has been added, as agreed at the member workshop at the Hyde Park Memorial on 10 August 2022 which considered the Discussion Paper on charitable purpose and draft Veteran Support Fund SOP.

The District Presidents’ Council have agreed to the draft SOP 1 on 15 September, with minor adjustments and the proposed calculation method outlined in Appendix B5.

With a mandatory contribution, will our sub-Branch be required to contribute larger donations than it has been contributing in the past?

No. Modelling revealed that the donations received under this calculation would be significantly lower than the current SOP 1.

It has been noted that for the 2021 calendar year ANZAC House received $2.4 million in donations to RSL LifeCare Veteran Services (formerly RSL DefenceCare), the sub-Branch Support and Assistance Fund, and Disaster Relief Fund. If the sub-Branch contributions component of the current SOP 1 was applied the figure would have been $5.3 million.

Is it mandatory for every sub-Branch to contribute to the Veteran Support Fund?

No. While it was reinforced that donations to the Veteran Support Fund would remain at the discretion of sub-Branches, it was proposed by attendees at the workshop to include a mandatory donation threshold for financially ‘larger’ sub-Branches only.

The threshold to trigger mandatory donation and size of donation are sub-Branches with total assets over $2 million, as agreed to by the District Presidents’ Council.

Will our sub-Branch be recognised for contributing to the Veteran Support Fund?

Yes. When donations are received into the Veteran Support Fund for a nominated purpose, the sub-Branch making the donation will be recognised, and further recognised when the aggregation of donations is formally presented to the recipient, such as RSL LifeCare Veteran Services which recently received a $3.1 million donation from sub-Branches and other donors such as ANZAC and Poppy Appeal fundraising.

The more the RSL brand is promoted, the more the veteran community will understand how it can access services and support from the RSL and, hopefully, veterans will want to become members. In the case of RSL LifeCare Veteran Services, the sub-Branch’s aggregated donations were recognised on Channel 7 news for instance.

If all sub-Branches work together and invest in the Veteran Support Fund, the League in NSW can strategically influence positive outcomes for Veterans and promote the RSL’s standing and reputation throughout the State and nation.

How can sub-Branches propose initiatives to be funded?

There is discretion in what sub-Branches wish to contribute to wider strategic Charitable Activities and sub-Branches are encouraged to submit proposals for funding under the Veteran Support Fund using the form found in Appendix B2 if the draft SOP 1.

To support transparency, all donations received into the Veteran Support Fund and corresponding expenditures will be overseen by a Donation Oversight Committee (DOC), comprised of representatives of those making donations.

How can all members review the balances of the Veteran Support Fund?

The Veteran Support Fund Dashboard is located under the ‘Finance’ section of the Member Resources section of the RSL NSW website. You can access the Dashboard by clicking on this link.

Action for sub-Branches and members:

All sub-Branches are invited to send any feedback on the Draft SOP1 to the District Presidents’ Council via their District Presidents by 15 November 2022.

Individual members can also provide feedback directly to the District Presidents Council via