This section sets out the standards we expect, including those related to risk assessments, effective complaints-handling procedures and making sure charitable institutions use
England and Wales
If you are a charity established in England and Wales, you can find guidance in the Charity Governance Code and in the
If you are a charity registered in Scotland, the Scottish
If you are a charity registered in Northern Ireland, the
Organisations established for philanthropic and benevolent purposes
The governing bodies of non-charitable voluntary organisations will have similar duties to those set out above in relation to
You must act in the best interests of your charitable institution.
You must be aware of possible conflicts between the duties you owe to your charitable institution and the duties or loyalties you have to others. You must follow your
You must make sure that your charitable institution’s assets and resources are used only for the purposes for which they were given (which may be all or just some of the institution’s purposes). If the
You must act reasonably and carefully in all matters relating to fundraising. If you are not experts in
Further considerations specifically for
You must meet the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 and any regulations made under it or which affect charities. In particular:
- you must follow the
charity’sgoverning document and the charitytrustee duties under section 66 of the 2005 Act; and
- you must act in the interests of your
charity, make sure you act in a way which is consistent with your purposes, and act with the ‘care and diligence’ that it is reasonable to expect of a person who is managing the affairs of another person.
Further considerations specifically for
The duties and responsibilities trustees have with regard to fundraising all fall under the general duties of charity trustees to be responsible and accountable for their
You must meet any legal obligations to protect the health and safety of employees, volunteers, the public and anyone else who might reasonably be considered to be affected by your charitable institution’s
2.3.Accepting, refusing and returning donations
You must not refuse or return donations, except in exceptional circumstances.
If you decide to refuse a donation, you must keep a record of your decision and the reasons for it.
You must give a refund if a donor correctly exercises their right to one.
- Chartered Institute of
Fundraising: Acceptance, refusal and return: A practical guide to dealing with donations CharityCommission for England and Wales: Returning money to charities – for guidance on returning money received from a charity
2.4.Complaints and concerns about fundraising
You must have a clear and publicly available complaints procedure which must also apply to third-party fundraisers.
You must make sure fundraisers can explain to members of the public how to make a complaint.
You must make sure that:
- complaints are investigated thoroughly and fairly to find out the facts of the case, avoiding unnecessary delay; and
- you respond to complaints fairly and in a way that is in proportion to the complaint.
You must regularly review any lessons to be learnt from complaints and use that learning to help you with future fundraising activity.
You must have a clear and published procedure for members of staff and volunteers to report any concerns they have about your fundraising practice. This could be either a stand-alone policy or part of a wider whistleblowing policy which is available to staff and
- the type of issues that can be raised and the
processfor doing so;
- how the person raising a concern will be protected from victimisation and harassment;
- what you will do when you receive a concern; and
- how a person can report their concerns to us (the
FundraisingRegulator) or the Scottish FundraisingStandards Panel if it is not possible for it to be considered or resolved within your charitable institution. FundraisingRegulator: Complaints handling guidance
You must not pay fundraisers excessive amounts. Where appropriate, you must put a cap on how much you pay
You must have effective systems in place for managing performance and recognising the effect the payment method can have on the fundraiser, you, the beneficiaries and the public.
You must not use commission payments unless:
- you have explored and exhausted all other sources of fundraising investment;
- you (or senior executives, if you have delegated power to them) approve any payments; and
- there are measures in place to make sure excessive payments are not allowed.
You must monitor commission payments to make sure that they continue to strike a balance between reducing risk and encouraging fundraisers effectively.
If you directly employ people to fundraise, you must make sure that the method of payment you choose meets the Employment Rights Act 1996 (in Northern Ireland The Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996), and you must meet the minimum wage rules set out in the National Minimum Wage Act 1998.
CharityCommission for England and Wales: Payments to charity trustees: what the rules are and section 185 of the Charities Act 2011
- Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR): Guidance and good practice for charity trustees and section 67 of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005
CharityCommission for Northern Ireland: Guidance on trustee expenses and payment and section 88 of the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008
2.6.Solicitation statements for paid employees, officers and trustees of charitable institutions and connected companies
England and Wales
If you are carrying out a public charitable collection, and are paid more than £10 per day or more than £1000 per year to collect donations for the benefit of one or more charitable institutions and are not a professional fundraiser, you must make a statement saying:
- the name of the
charitable institutionor institutions which will benefit and, if there is more than one, the proportions in which they will benefit;
- that you are an officer, employee or member of a governing body of a
- that you are receiving payment as an officer, employee or member of a
governing body, or for acting as a collector. You do not have to say how much you receive.
You must follow the same standards as in England and Wales.
For more standards on
A donation must be used for the purpose for which it was given. If you want to change that purpose you should get advice from legal advisers or the relevant national statutory regulator before changing the purpose, even if the person making the
You must use all funds raised for a particular cause for that cause.
You must keep a record of donations that are given for specific purposes to make sure that you keep to the conditions of the
You must make sure that you do not suggest money is for a restricted purpose (such as buying a goat, or helping a particular child) when it may be used for a different purpose or for the general purposes of a charitable institution.
If you are fundraising for a particular purpose, you must include a statement saying what will happen to funds you receive if the total amount raised is not enough to reach (or is more than) the target.
You must not ask for funds for a purpose that does not fit within the purposes of your charitable institution.
If you encourage someone to donate by offering benefits, you must make sure:
- you have the power to give the benefits;
- the benefits are appropriate in the circumstances; and
- the benefits are proportionate to the size and frequency of the donation.
You must be aware when benefits cancel out possible tax relief such as Gift Aid or top-up payments available under the small-donation rules. If benefits do prevent the donation qualifying under
- HM Revenue & Customs: Chapter 3.18 Charities: detailed guidance notes on how the tax system operates – for guidance on the limits on benefits that can be offered without tax consequences
CharityCommission for England and Wales: Charities: due diligence, monitoring and verifying the end use of charitable funds
CharityRegulator (OSCR): Restricted funds organisation – for guidance on changing the purpose of a donation CharityCommission for Northern Ireland: Requesting a scheme – for guidance on changing the purpose of a donation
2.8.Accounting and reporting
You must follow all legal accounting requirements.
You must meet any specified reporting requirements if they apply to a donation.
Further considerations England and Wales
If you are a charity and you have to have your accounts audited under section 162A of the Charities Act 2011, under section 13 of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 you must state in your trustee annual report:
- your approach to fundraising, and whether you used a professional fundraiser or commercial participator;
- details of any voluntary regulatory
fundraisingschemes or standards which you or anyone fundraisingon your behalf has agreed to;
- details of any circumstances where you have failed to keep to a scheme or standard;
- whether, and if so how, you monitored
fundraisingactivities carried out on your behalf;
- how many complaints you or anyone acting on your behalf has received about
fundraisingfor your charity; and
- what you have done to protect vulnerable people and others from unreasonable intrusion on their privacy, unreasonably persistent approaches or undue pressure to give, in the course of or in connection with
fundraisingfor your charity. CharityCommission for England and Wales: Charityreporting and accounting: the essentials November 2016 (CC15d)
CharityRegulator (OSCR): Charityaccounting CharityCommission for Northern Ireland: Charityreporting and accounting: the essentials FundraisingRegulator: The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016: Fundraisingreporting requirements guidance
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