Volunteers play an important part in fundraising and supporting charitable giving. This section contains standards on working with volunteer fundraisers, where their activity is known to your organisation.

The Charities Act 1992 and Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 give charitable institutions the right to apply for a court order to prevent unauthorised fundraising if:

  • any person is using fundraising methods that the charitable institution objects to;
  • the charitable institution  believes that a person is not a fit and proper person to raise funds on their behalf; or 
  • the charitable institution does not want to be associated with a particular promotion.

Some ‘in-aid-of’ volunteers may be fundraising to raise their profile or to attract customers by associating themselves or their brand with your charity. If the ‘in-aid-of’ volunteer arrangement falls within the definition of a commercial participator relationship, there are legal obligations which you must meet (see sections 7.2 to 7.4).

5.1.Standards that apply to all volunteers

In this section, ‘you’ means a charitable institution.


You must make sure that any guidance, information and support you give to volunteers is adequate and relevant to the type of relationship (‘on behalf of’ or ‘in aid of’) that the volunteer has with you.


If your charitable institution knows about a volunteer’s fundraising, you must make sure that there are proper arrangements in place for money to be transferred to you quickly and efficiently.


You must not make any payments to volunteers, but you can refund their expenses.


You must take all reasonable steps to make sure that volunteers keep to standards on handling donations. For more standards on this, see section 4 Processing donations.

5.2. Specific considerations when working with ‘on-behalf-of’ volunteers


Where appropriate, you must check that ‘on-behalf-of’ volunteer fundraisers are suitable to act as responsible people on your behalf. You must:  

There is no legal definition of ‘fit and proper person’. However, Cabinet Office guidance on national exemption orders for house-to-house collections highlights the need to consider ‘past convictions or current investigations’ concerning the volunteer as an example of how to check whether they are fit and proper.


You must store volunteers’ contact information and other personal data in a way that meets the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.

For more standards on processing data, see section 3 Processing personal data (information).


You must give any training and support that volunteers may need so they can carry out their role in a way that is legal, open, honest and respectful.

5.3.Specific considerations when working with ‘in-aid-of’ volunteers

In this section, ‘you’ means a charitable institution.


If you are aware of their activity beforehand, you must tell ‘in-aid-of’ volunteersthat:  

  • they must use the expression ‘in aid of’ your charitable institution when fundraising, to distinguish their fundraising from yours; and 

  • they are responsible for organising all aspects of their fundraising and that you will not accept any liability relating to their fundraising.