Following the government’s advice on social distancing, the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) and Fundraising Regulator advise all charities to reflect seriously on whether to continue public fundraising (face to face, door to door and private site) due to the increased health risk to the population at large, as well as to fundraisers and volunteers. A thorough risk assessment should be carried out, and any decision to continue public fundraising should be documented and made at the most senior level.
We give this advice in the context of the government’s guidance, as well as following concerns raised to both the IoF and Fundraising Regulator by members of the public, and with a view to maintaining the reputation of charities and charitable fundraising as a whole.
The Fundraising Regulator and the IoF passionately believe in the generosity of the British public and know that public fundraising will have a large role to play in the future of charitable giving across the UK. We will do all we can to make sure the sector is supported to recommence this hugely important work in the future.
The IoF is taking active steps to do all we can to help support the public fundraising sector and our members, both charities and agencies, at this uniquely difficult time. We have already:
- Called on Government to provide a safety net for charities through emergency funding and other support
- Called on Government to ensure that fundraising agencies are able to access financial support (such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme) noting that we estimate 3,000 public fundraising jobs are at risk in the sector
In addition, the IoF will be taking the following steps:
- Convening a virtual forum for charities/fundraising agencies to discuss how best to work together and support each other
- Advising charities and agencies to talk to each other to see where any work can be postponed, or alternative plans put in place, to ensure the future sustainability of public fundraising
- Providing additional support and guidance where we can, including getting as much clarity as possible as to how long the government’s social distancing policy will be in place.
The Fundraising Regulator will be publishing practical advice over the coming days and weeks to ensure the sector is supported as the situation develops. Charities should get in touch with the Regulator if they need further guidance.