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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Fundraising Regulator and Chartered Institute of Fundraising publish new guidance to support the return to public fundraising

The Fundraising Regulator and Chartered Institute of Fundraising (IoF) have today published two pieces of guidance to support charitable organisations to return to fundraising activities in line with social distancing requirements, as restrictions are eased across the UK. 

The guidance released today covers the over-arching principles which should be applied to all fundraising methods, and specific advice on public fundraising (including street, door-to-door and private site fundraising). This guidance has been prepared in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

The guidance intends to aid good decision making and sets out a framework for safe and responsible fundraising. It is essential that fundraising organisations consider this guidance, the nature of their activity, the location, their preparation, and undertake a full risk assessment to inform decisions. Organisations should also consider consulting with staff and volunteers before undertaking any fundraising activity.

In all cases, fundraising should only be reintroduced where it is safe to do so and provided it is in line with Government advice, and any guidance issued by the devolved administrations. The recent changes to lockdown restrictions in England mean that public fundraising may return if organisations are able to comply with this new guidance. It is important to remember that some methods of fundraising, such as community fundraising events involving large groups of people, or mass participation events, cannot safely resume under current social distancing rules.

The publication of these two pieces of guidance is the first instalment in a series from the Fundraising Regulator and IoF and we will continue to publish practical advice covering fundraising activities affected by social distancing over the weeks ahead. 

Priya Warner, Head of Policy at the Fundraising Regulator said:

“This guidance is intended to support the sector as they look to begin fundraising activity that they paused back in March. However, I want to be clear that public fundraising activities should only resume if it is safe to do so. It’s the responsibility of individual charities to exercise judgment about when and how to resume fundraising, and this should only be when thorough risk assessments have been carried out, and informed decisions based on each individual organisation’s unique circumstances have been made.”

Daniel Fluskey, Head of Policy and External Affairs at the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, said:

"Charities have taken a massive hit to their income due to the coronavirus pandemic, and restarting fundraising is going to be really important to keep charity services running as well as enabling the sector to play its full role in wider recovery. Public fundraising activities have been rightly on hold during lockdown, but with the return of non-essential shops and other businesses resuming activity, it is appropriate for charities to be thinking about how they can restart fundraising in a safe and responsible way. This guidance sets out the key considerations that organisations need to be thinking about as they plan their return to fundraising activities in line with social distancing requirements.”

Minister for Civil Society, Baroness Barran said:

"This is a challenging time for many charities delivering vital services across the country and I know from my conversations with fundraisers just how important it is for public fundraising to restart safely and responsibly.

"I am pleased to support this guidance which outlines key principles for charities to follow while ensuring they adhere to social distancing measures and Government advice." 

For more information, please contact the Fundraising Regulator press office on 020 3327 4050 or at fr@pagefield.co.uk.