When used responsibly, technology can play an important part in expanding the reach of charitable fundraising appeals. This section includes standards for online fundraising platforms, including telling donors about how you will use their data and any fees you may take for hosting a
As well as your main website, you may have other related websites or microsites created for specific campaigns or events. This section covers all websites you create.
In England, Scotland and Wales, you must meet the Equality Act 2010 (so far as it applies in the area in which you are fundraising) and must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to meet the needs of all users. In Northern Ireland, you must not discriminate against people with characteristics that are protected under the laws of Northern Ireland. You can get more information from the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.
You must make sure that your contact information is easy to find on your website.
You must meet the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (as amended in 2011) and wider data protection requirements.
You must make sure all information about how you collect and use personal data is easily accessible from the website’s home page and any page which collects
For specific guidance on equality law:
CharityCommission for England and Wales: Equality Act: guidance for charities
CharityRegulator (OSCR): Charities and the Equality Act 2010 CharityCommission for Northern Ireland :Equality guidance for charities
For guidance on meeting international accessibility standards:
- Government Digital Service: Make your public sector website or app accessible
10.2.Online fundraising platforms
Donation pages hosted on a charitable institution’s own website (that is where the donor is not directed away from the
Money raised through online fundraising platforms may go:
- direct to a
- to a fundraiser or
fundraisersto pass on to a registered charitable institution; or
- to a beneficiary who is not a registered
If you provide links to our and your own guidance, you must explain your reasons for this to make sure that prospective
Alongside the standards below, you should pay particular attention to the following sections of the code.
- For more standards on data protection, see section 3
Processing personal data(information).
- For more standards on
processing donations, see section 4 Processing donations.
- For more standards on the relationship between
charitable institutionsand those carrying out fundraisingactivities through online fundraisingplatforms, see section 5 Volunteers.
- For more standards on agencies providing
fundraisingservices, see section 7 Professional fundraisers, commercial participatorsand partners. FundraisingRegulator: Guidance for Fundraising Platforms FundraisingRegulator: Online fundraising advice and guidance for the public
Fees for hosting a
In some circumstances an online fundraising platform may fall within the definition of a professional fundraiser or commercial participator. If this is the case, see section 7:
If you charge fees for hosting a fundraising campaign (for example, platform fees, a proportion of the donation or Gift Aid, payment transaction fees, administrative fees, or monthly or yearly subscription fees paid by a charity or fundraiser), you must make sure that the following details are clearly visible to people donating through your site and are displayed before the point at which you ask for their financial details.
- How your pay will be calculated (for example, as a percentage of the
Gift Aid, a fee charged on each donationor X pounds (or pence) of each donation).
- How much you will receive, if you know this at the time of the
donation. (If you don’t know the exact amount, give an example that demonstrates how much your organisation would receive on an imaginary donation.)
You must also publish good-practice guidance for those setting up a fundraising page on your website.
Your guidance must highlight things fundraisers should consider when planning their appeal to prospective donors. This must include the implications of raising money for a cause where no charitable institution is identified as the beneficiary, including:
- Who is organising the appeal.
- Whether the money raised is for a specific purpose or for the person receiving it to use as they see fit. If the money is for a charitable institution and will be used for a specific purpose,
fundraisersmust contact the charitable institutionto make sure they are aware and happy to receive the money for this purpose. For more standards on money given for restricted purposes, see section 2.7 Using funds.
- What the target of the appeal will be, if this applies. This might be a time target or a financial target.
- Whether the fundraiser is raising money on behalf of or for a
charitable institutionand, if this applies, the name of the charitable institution.
- How people can donate, including, where relevant, alternative ways of donating to the appeal and ways to increase donations through Gift Aid.
- What deductions will be made for expenses.
- What the
fundraiserwill do with the money if:
- they do not raise enough to meet their target;
- they raise more than their target; or
- the original purpose for which they are asking for
donationsis no longer valid for any reason.
You must state that your users need to keep to the sections of the code that apply to their fundraising as a condition of using your site and that you have the right to end or suspend their use of the site if necessary.
CharityCommission for England and Wales: Public benefit: rules for charities − for guidance on public benefit for charitiesregistered in England and Wales
Data protection and privacy
You must meet all relevant data protection laws. Personal details of donors and fundraisers must only be passed from your organisation to another if you are allowed to do this by law (this is known as having a lawful basis to do so). For more information, see section 3
10.3.Messages to mobile devices
You must only send marketing messages to mobile phones belonging to individuals if those people have already given you permission to do this.
You must make the
You must use a simple opt-out message for people to tell you if they don’t want to receive messages from you.
You must make sure that users can opt out of any marketing message, free of charge (except for the costs of sending the
You must offer an option for people to reply by text message to opt out of receiving further messages, and this must be clear in all marketing.
For competitions and prize draws, you must provide a clear and simple method of accessing any terms and conditions and you must publish the identity of the
You must not send bulk emails from a named person’s email account.
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