The ALP says Australia will get its first minister for charities if it wins the May 18 federal election.

Labor’s spokesperson for charities and not-for-profits, Andrew Leigh, says a Shorten government would amend the Charities Act and formally recognise the benefits of advocacy by charities.

The party says it would also create a not-for-profit sector expert reference panel, which would work on a plan to strengthen the sector in cooperation with Treasury, business and key sector stakeholders.

“We will fix fundraising by immediately starting work on harmonising Australia's fundraising laws,” Mr Leigh said in a statement this week.