Code of Fundraising practice review

The Code of Fundraising practice was last reviewed by the Fundraising Regulator in 2018/19. The latest review commenced in 2022 with phase one being a call for consultation to gather information surrounding how the code should be updated.

We have now entered phase two of the review process where the proposed updates to the code can be reviewed to ensure its relevancy and effectiveness. Phase three will see implementation of the code in 2025.

The 12-week consultation of phase two is now running until the 1 December 2023 and is seeking external feedback on the proposed changes to the code. We would encourage all fundraising charities to engage in the review of the code and feed into the consultation so that its updates best reflect your requirements.

The review encompasses three areas; the general principles of the code, updated planned policy changes, and minor updates to the existing code. The Fundraising Regulator are particularly considering additional rules, regulations and policies on the following areas:

  • Contactless/tap and donate– ensure total transparency for donors so that the information provided to them at the point of donation communicates transaction fees and donation amount.
  • Round ups’ and micro-donations- consider transparency surrounding rounding up card transactions or additional small donations.
  • Cryptocurrencies and NFTs- assess the key principles for charities to consider when receiving crypto-donation.
  • Online Fundraising platforms – to what extent should online fundraising platforms have to confirm their compliance with the code as well as enforcing their users to confirm their compliance.
  • Social media – consider whether the code should cover social media fundraising.
  • Gaming and streaming– consider whether the code should specifically cover fundraising in gaming environments.
  • Protecting fundraisers –consider whether the code should include protection for fundraisers from inappropriate behaviour by donors and potential donors.
  • Modern slaveryconsider whether the code should require that charities carry out proportionate due diligence and monitoring of supply chain partners.
  • Complaints handling – expand the code to require all applicable organisations to comply and engage with the Fundraising Regulator’s processes
  • Third-party regulators and legislation – expand the code so that a breach of any legal obligation relating to fundraising would equally result in a breach of the code.
  • Use of funds – require accountability for funds from campaigns that are unsuccessful or those which exceed their target, which is not stipulated as a requirement currently.

There are also consultation questions to confirm suggested updates to the existing code. As exemplified in the above list, fundraising methods are continuing to evolve and therefore the code must adapt accordingly. Should the code be expanded to include these new types of fundraising areas specifically and clarify precisely how charities need to behave?

We would encourage charities to engage in the fundraising consultation. It is expected that the code will be issued in 2024 following this consultation, with implementation from 2025.

Social media

The Charity Commission issued their guidance on social media in September 2023 detailing how charities should campaign legitimately.

We always recommend that you seek advice from a suitably qualified adviser before taking any action. The information in this article only serves as a guide and no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of this material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.

If you would like to discuss the impact of the potential changes to the code of fundraising practice, please contact one of our specialist team.


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