New fundraising requirements in the new Charities Bill

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The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill (the ‘Charities Bill’) finished its passage through Parliament and received Royal Assent on 16 March 2016 and as a result, new rules for charity fundraising started on 1 November 2016.

They affect the Trustees’ Annual Reports of larger charities that fundraise from the public, as well as the contents of the agreements that must be in place when professional fundraisers or other businesses (‘commercial participators’) raise money for charities. The changes will help charities to demonstrate their commitment to protecting donors and the public, including vulnerable people, from poor fundraising practices. There are two new requirements:

The first requirement applies where a charity, registered or unregistered, uses a professional fundraiser or commercial participator to raise funds. In these circumstances written agreements between charities and third parties must include extra information covering:

  • The scheme for regulating fundraising or recognised fundraising standards that will apply to the professional fundraiser or commercial participator in carrying out the agreement
  • How the professional fundraiser or commercial participator will protect the public, including vulnerable people, from unreasonably intrusive or persistent fundraising approaches and undue pressure to donate
  • How charities will monitor the professional fundraiser or commercial participator’s compliance with these requirements.

The second requirement applies to registered charities that must have their accounts audited. These charities have to include extra information about fundraising in their Trustees’ Annual Report including the following:

  • Approach to fundraising
  • Work with, and oversight of, any commercial participators/professional fundraisers
  • Fundraising conforming to recognised standards
  • Monitoring of fundraising carried out on its behalf
  • Number of fundraising complaints
  • Protection of the public, including vulnerable people, from unreasonably intrusive or persistent fundraising approaches, and undue pressure to donate.

Various guidance documents have been produced by the Charity Commission and the Fundraising Regulator to assist organisations in understanding their responsibilities. You should review CC20 – Charity fundraising: a guide to trustee duties and CC15d Charity reporting and accounting: the essentials November 2016 which have been updated to reflect these new requirements.

However up until 31st March 2017, the Fundraising Regulator will take a flexible approach in its expectations of updated agreements between charities, professional fundraisers and commercial participators (which can include arrangements with corporates and are possibly being overlooked as falling into the remit of the Act) to take into account reasonable contingency arrangements which may be required as a consequence of the new duty. Time is running out to get these new agreements in place.

 

This post was written by Suzanne Goldsmith of the Charities & Not For Profit team. If you would like any further help or information then please contact Suzanne on 01223 507637 or at suzanne.goldsmith@pricebailey.co.uk

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