L10.0 Solicitation Statements L10.0 Solicitation Statements
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Note: MUST* and MUST NOT* (with asterisk) denotes legal requirement
MUST and MUST NOT (without asterisk) denotes requirement of the Code of Fundraising Practice
L10.1 England and Wales
a) The Charities Act 2006 introduced an obligation on some people fundraising for charities who, although paid, would not otherwise fall within the definition of a professional fundraiser. These are:
- Paid individuals carrying out a public charitable collection (except anyone who receives £5 or less per day or £500 or less per year).
- Paid employees, officers and trustees (subject to the same ‘lower paid’ exception set out above).
b) If these individuals make a solicitation for a donation for a particular charity they MUST* make a statement indicating:
- the name or names of the institutions which will benefit and if more than one, the proportions in which they will benefit;
- the fact that they are an officer, employee or trustee of an institution; and
- the fact that they are receiving remuneration as an officer, employee, trustee or for acting as a collector. They do not have to state the amount of their remuneration.
c) If these individuals make a solicitation for general charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purposes (as opposed to a specific named charity), then they MUST* make a similar statement that they are being paid for those general purposes.
d) Professional fundraisers MUST* make a solicitation statement every time they solicit money or other property on behalf of a charity or an institution which is established for benevolent or philanthropic purposes. This is the case even if the money is not a pure donation but is given in return for something. (Section 58 (6) (b) Charities Act 1992).
In the case of telephone fundraising, the appropriate statement MUST* be made during each call and within seven days of any payment of £100 or more being made by the donor to the professional fundraiser, the professional fundraiser MUST* give the donor a written statement, and notify the donor of their right to a refund/cancel. (Section 60 (5) Charities Act 1992.)
e) Professional fundraisers MUST* give the following information:
- the name of the fundraising organisation(s) on whose behalf they are calling;
- if there is more than one organisation, the proportion in which they will each benefit;
- the method by which the fundraiser’s remuneration is to be determined; and where known, the actual amount of the remuneration; or where unknown, an estimate of the remuneration, calculated as accurately as possible.
f) A professional fundraiser MUST* comply with further specific disclosure requirements in relation to television, radio and telephone appeals: (Sections 60(4)(5)(6) of the Charities Act 1992), including rights to cancel a donation and receive a refund (Section 61 of the Charities Act 1992).
Failure to make the correct statement is a criminal offence.
The Cabinet Office published two sets of guidance in 2008 which include example wording of statements:
- “Charitable Fundraising Guidance on Part 2 of the Charities Act 1992”
- “Guidance for employees and paid officers or trustees of a charity required to make a solicitation statement”
For more detailed guidance, professional advice should be sought.
a) In Scotland, the rules regarding solicitation statements apply to and MUST* be followed by professional fundraisers making solicitations, commercial participators making representations and benevolent fundraisers (other than volunteers) carrying out benevolent fundraising.
A benevolent fundraiser for this purpose is a benevolent body or any company connected with it; any persons who manage or control it; or any employees or agents either of such people or of the benevolent body or connected company. Benevolent fundraising means soliciting or otherwise procuring money or promises of money for the benefit of benevolent bodies or connected companies, or for charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purposes.
b) Professional fundraisers, commercial participators, and benevolent fundraisers (other than volunteers) MUST* give the following information:
- the name of the benevolent body which will benefit;
- if there is more than one benevolent body, the proportion in which each will benefit;
- if the funds are for general charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purposes (rather than for a benevolent body), this must be stated and details given of how the distribution of funds will be determined; and
- whether he is to receive remuneration (unless he is a benevolent fundraiser and is an employee or agent of the benevolent body concerned or a company connected with it, and is carrying out the fundraising in writing).
c) Professional fundraisers and commercial participators MUST* also adhere to these additional rules:
- If the solicitation or representation is made orally (but not by speaking directly to and in the presence of the person to whom it is addressed) or in the course of a radio or television programme, he MUST* explain the right to a refund or to cancel the agreement which exists in terms of the Regulations;
- if he is to receive remuneration, he MUST*:
- indicate how this will be determined, and
- state the amount (if known, and if not, the estimated amount) of the remuneration that he as a Professional fundraiser will receive; or
- state the amount (if known, and if not, the estimated amount) of the sale proceeds or proceeds of the promotional venture that he as a Commercial participator will apply for the benevolent body or purpose, or the amount of the donation(s) that will be made.
- if he provides the statement regarding his remuneration orally, he MUST*:
- if making the statement in person, advise any person making a payment that he has the information on remuneration available in writing with him if they wish to see it; or
- if the statement is not made in person, advise any person making a payment that he has the information on remuneration available in writing and will provide it if requested.
A professional fundraiser or commercial participator commits a criminal offence by failing to comply with any of these provisions and the trustees of a charity may be in breach of their duty of care if they do not make statements where appropriate or require statements to be made. Further information and guidance is available from OSCR and/or professional advice should be sought.
In Scotland unlike England and Wales, those undertaking public charitable collections are not exempted. In addition, while Scotland has provision allowing it to pass similar de minimus rules to those that exist in England and Wales, it has not used this power.
L10.3 Northern Ireland
At the present time, there is no equivalent legislation as in England, Wales or Scotland in regard to written agreements. However, it is deemed good practice to follow the England and Wales requirements.
Under the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008, it will be unlawful for a professional fundraiser to solicit money without a written agreement with the organisation it is collecting for that satisfied the prescribed requirements. These provisions have not yet come into force and this Code will be updated to reflect the changing legislation in due course.