Skip to main content

Code changes 2018

Changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice will be recorded on this web page

Note: "must" or "must not" seen in bold text means the standard is a legal requirement.

If a standard contains "must" or "must not" without bold text this means it is a requirement of the Code of Fundraising Practice.

8th August 2018 - PSA and society lotteries

Following updates to the rules on society lotteries via premium rate phones services, the Code of Fundraising Practice has been updated to highlight the need to follow not only the PSA Code of practice, by also any relevant special conditions notices issued by the PSA.

Rule 9.6.2 a) has been amended:

Organisations using premium SMS or other forms of phone-paid service MUST* register with the Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA) and comply with its Code of Practice and relevant special conditions notices.

Additional signposting has also been added to 13.2 b):

There are additional requirements for Society lotteries which enable users to participate through a premium rate phone service. You can find further information in Section 9.6.2.

20 June 2018 - TPS compliance

Following Consultation in February 2018  the Fundraising Regulator has made the following amendments to the Code rules regarding TPS compliance in rule 8.2.3 d)

8.2.3 d) Organisations carrying out live fundraising telephone calls MUST be able to evidence their compliance with legal requirements regarding the Telephone Preference Service.

Guidance can be found in the Fundraising Regulator’s Quick Guide to TPS Compliance. Consent is required for automated calls, see rule 8.2.2 b).”

7 June 2018 - online giving platforms

Following consultation in February 2018 and engagement with the online giving sector, the Code now includes rules relating to online fundraising platforms.

The rules can be found in Section 9 – Digital Media  under part 9.3 of the Code.

In addition to the Code changes, we have also created guidance for online giving platforms  and for the public (fundraisers and donors). This has been created in consultation with the sector and will support the new Code rules in promoting transparency to ensure that the public is fully informed when donating.

Fundraising Platforms have an implementation period until the end of August 2018 to comply with these new requirements

9.3.4 Online Fundraising Platforms

This section of the Code should be read in conjunction with the Fundraising Regulator’s Guidance for Fundraising Platforms and Online Fundraising advice and guidance for the public

For the purpose of this Code, online fundraising platforms are websites or applications operated by commercial companies, not-for-profit organisations, by charities themselves, or by individuals, which facilitate charitable fundraising campaigns and/or crowdfunding by individuals or organisations for charitable purposes. They enable donors to give to charitable causes using their computers, smartphones and other electronic devices, and via their credit cards, debit cards or digital wallets (devices that allow an individual to make electronic transactions, such as Paypal).

For the purpose of this Code, crowdfunding refers to the raising of funds by an individual, a group of individuals, or a commercial organisation for charitable purposes, but not linked directly to a charity’s bank account. This may mean that money is passed to the crowdfunder to then distribute to a charity, or to spend on a personal cause, for example, assisting a friend or relative with medical expenses.

Donation pages hosted on a charity’s own website (i.e. where the donor is not directed away from the charity’s own domain name to a third party) are not considered within the scope of this Code section where no fees are levied on individual donations. Where fees (including payment transaction fees) are levied on a donation-by-donation basis by a third party, charities should ensure levels of transparency fall in line with this section of the Code.

Monies raised through online fundraising platforms may go: directly to a registered charity; to a fundraiser or fundraisers to pass on to a registered charity; or to a beneficiary who is not a registered charity.

The Fundraising Regulator encourages online fundraising platforms to register with us to publically demonstrate a commitment to responsible fundraising. To register, please visit

Alongside the rules below, Fundraising Platforms should particularly refer to the following sections of the Code:

Section 2: Working with Volunteers for considerations relating to the relationship between charities and those carrying out fundraising activities through online fundraising platforms.

Section 4: Third parties for considerations relating to agencies providing fundraising services.

Section 5: Personal Information and Fundraising for considerations relating to data protection.

Section 12: Corporate Partners for considerations relating to Commercial Participator relationships and providing hosting services to fundraising organisations.

Section 20: Handling Donations for considerations relating to card transactions.

Remuneration for hosting a fundraising campaign

For the purpose of this section of the Code, ‘remuneration’ relates to any fees levied on a charity, a donation, or associated GiftAid by a fundraising platform. These could include but are not limited to: platform fees; payment transaction fees; administrative fees; or monthly/annual subscription fees payable by a charity or fundraiser. Where a Fundraising Platform receives a proportion of the donation or gift aid as remuneration for hosting a fundraising campaign, they MUST ensure that the following details are clearly visible to individuals donating through their site and displayed before the point at which financial details are requested:

a) how their remuneration will be calculated (for example as a percentage of the gift aid, a charge levied on a donation or X pounds/pence of each donation); and

b) the amount of remuneration they will receive, if this is known at the point of donation, and if not, an example that demonstrates the sum the organisation would receive on a hypothetical donation.

Responsibilities of Fundraising Platforms Fundraising platforms MUST publish good practice guidance for those setting up a fundraising page on their website to ensure that prospective donors are adequately informed about appeals in advance of donating and that funds raised are administered appropriately. Fundraising platforms MUST link to the Fundraising Regulator’s good practice guidance for those setting up a fundraising page on their website to ensure that they and prospective donors are adequately informed about appeals in advance of donating and that funds raised are administered appropriately. The guidance MUST be easily accessible for those setting up a fundraising page on the site and MUST be available before the point at which donation pages become active. The guidance MUST highlight the following considerations for fundraisers in how they plan their appeal to prospective donors. This MUST include the implications of raising money for a cause where no charity is identified as the beneficiary, including:

a) the possibility that a personal crowdfunding appeal may itself need to be registered as a charity with the relevant regulatory body; and

b) if the fundraising platform is itself a charity, that the appeal will need to satisfy the legal requirements for public benefit.

For further information regarding this, please see the Charity Commission’s Public Benefit Rules for Charities. The guidance MUST highlight the following considerations for fundraisers in how they publicise their appeal to prospective donors through their fundraising page on the site:

a) who is organising the appeal

b) whether the money raised is for a specific purpose or for the recipient to use as they see fit. Where money is raised for a charity for a specific purpose, fundraisers MUST contact the charity to ensure they are aware and happy to receive the funds for this stated purpose. See also Code rule 5.2e on money given for a restricted purpose;

c) where applicable, what the target of the appeal will be – this might be a time target or a financial target;

d) whether the fundraiser is raising money on behalf of or for a registered charity and, where applicable, the name of the charity;

e) how donations can be made, including, where relevant, alternative ways of donating to the appeal and ways to maximise donations via Gift Aid;

f) what deductions will be made for expenses; and

g) what the fundraiser will do with the money if:

  • they do not raise enough to meet their stated target;
  • they raise an amount in excess of their stated target; or
  • the original purpose for which they are seeking donations becomes invalid for any reason. The platform MUST require those setting up a fundraising page on the site to provide a clear affirmative action before the donation page is published (through an active opt-in method such as an unticked opt-in box) signifying that they have read and understood the guidance. The platform MUST take reasonable measures to avoid fraudulent activity and money laundering through their site in the guise of fundraising. Where funds raised are not going directly to a charity bank account, the platform MUST make it clear that donors give at their own risk prior to the donation being made. Online fundraising platforms MUST require their users to comply with those sections of the Code of Fundraising Practice that apply to their fundraising as a condition of using the site and to provide for the platform to terminate or suspend use of the site if necessary.

 The Fundraising Regulators Online Fundraising advice and guidance for the public has more information on the sections of the Code that are relevant to their activities.

Data Protection and Privacy Fundraising platforms MUST* comply with all relevant data protection legislation. Personal details of donors and fundraisers MUST* only be passed on to charities where a clear affirmative action has been provided to indicate that consent has been given.

Payment Services Where applicable, fundraising and crowdfunding platforms MUST:

a) comply with all legal requirements relating to the Payment Services Regulations 2017 (if the organisation falls within scope of this, this is a MUST*); and

b) comply with all relevant Financial Conduct Authority regulations.

25 May 2018 - Code changes on data protection for GDPR

On the 25th of May 2018 several changes were made to the code regarding Data Protection. The Code now incorporates GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 requirements, most notably in section 5 Personal Information and Fundraising . 

In addition the Legal Appendices have been reviewed in relation to GDPR.

8 May 2018 - changes to complaints handling

Following Consultation in February 2018  the Fundraising Regulator has made the following amendments to the Code rules regarding Complaints in rule 1.6

1.6 Complaints

a) Organisations MUST have a clear and publicly available complaints procedure which MUST also apply to any Third Parties fundraising on their behalf.

b) When dealing with complaints organisations MUST ensure that:

i) complaints are investigated thoroughly and objectively to establish the  facts of the case, avoiding undue delay; and

ii) complaints are responded to fairly, proportionately and appropriately.

c) Organisations MUST regularly review any lessons to be learnt from complaints and use that learning to inform future fundraising activity.

In addition, signposting has been added after rule 1.6 d) to the Fundraising Regulator’s Complaints Handling guidance

If you require information on Code changes published before the date of those listed, please contact