Many charities need to ask the public for money. They rely on public generosity – an enduring feature of our society, but one that can never be taken for granted – to carry out their important work helping those in need. In return the public place their trust in charities to raise money in a considerate and responsible way and to use it effectively.
Charity trustees have overall responsibility and accountability for their charity and this includes its fundraising. They have a key role to play in setting their charity’s approach to raising funds, making sure that it is followed in practice and reflects their charity’s values. Getting this right can be very rewarding, a valuable and visible result of trustees’ commitment to their charity, those that it supports and those that support it.
The Charity Commission, as the regulator of charities in England and Wales, the commission expects charities that fundraise to do so in a way which protects their charity’s reputation and encourages public trust and confidence in their charity. This includes following the law and recognised standards, protecting charities from undue risk, and showing respect for donors, supporters and the public.
The commission recognises the commitment required of trustees and the challenges they can face in getting fundraising right. It has updated this guidance to support them in discharging their responsibilities.
The purpose of Charity Commissions ‘Charity Fundraising: A Guide to Trustee Duties’ is to help trustees comply with their legal trustee duties when overseeing their charity’s fundraising. It sets out 6 principles to help them achieve this which are summarised in Section 3 of the Guidance.
It focuses primarily on matters within the commission’s regulatory remit. It is not a guide to the wide range of laws and regulations that apply to specific types and aspects of fundraising, but it provides links to sources of information about these rules.
In addition to this guidance an accompanying checklist has been produced, which consists of a series of questions to help trustees evaluate the performance of their charity against the advice in this guidance. The checklist should be read in conjunction with the guidance. It can be used to identify those sections that are relevant to a particular charity.
The guidance also explains what the commission does to regulate fundraising by charities and how this links to the system of self-regulation of fundraising activity.
To obtain your free Charity Fundraising Guide please click here.