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3.0 Working with children

Note: MUST* and MUST NOT* (with asterisk) denotes legal requirement

MUST and MUST NOT (without asterisk) denotes requirement of the Code of Fundraising Practice

3.1 Introduction

The age at which children may engage in fundraising activities may vary by type of activity, geographic location and law.

3.2 In Advance of Any Activity/Event

3.2.1 Age Limits and Permissions

There are some activities which cannot be undertaken by children and young people without adult involvement (the age restriction depends on the activity and location). These include:

a)    Organisations MUST* get explicit parent or guardian consent to process the personal data of a child until the child has capacity to give fully informed consent themselves. (Section 5: Personal information and Fundraising includes further information on requirements relating to data protection.)

There is no minimum age of consent set out in legislation for general data processing activities. However, as a guide in developing their wider policies on consent, fundraising organisations should take into consideration that the GDPR requires a minimum age of consent of 13 years old to process personal data for the provision of information society services (ie a service provided for remuneration, at a distance using electronic means at the request of the individual).

b) Any information collected from anyone under 14 years of age MUST NOT be disclosed without consent from a parent or guardian.

c) When organising fundraising activities, organisations MUST* abide by any relevant age limits imposed by legislation.

d) There will be times when organisations MUST* undertake the Disclosure and Barring Service (in England and Wales), Disclosure Scotland (in Scotland) or and Access NI (in Northern Ireland) checks for adults working with children.

e) Contact with children in or near school premises MUST be made only with the prior knowledge and approval of the Head Teacher or a member of the school’s staff designated by the Head Teacher and according to procedures agreed with them.

f) Organisations MUST ensure that the fundraiser/organisation’s representative understands their responsibility and the actions it must take in relation to activity organisers, the children participating, and the parents/guardians of any participating children.

3.3 Undertaking the Fundraising Activity

a) Organisations MUST employ all best efforts to avoid soliciting regular donations, such as Direct Debits, from under 18s.

b) Organisations MUST gain a parent’s or guardian’s permission before photographing or publishing photographs of their children.

c) Organisations MUST provide children and parents/guardians with guidance on how to undertake fundraising safely and legally.

3.4 After the Event/Activity

a) All monies received MUST be acknowledged promptly by the organisation.

There is more information about fundraising with children in the Institute of Fundraising’s – Fundraising in Schools guidance.