Voluntary organisations are being urged by FBC Manby Bowdler's charity expert to review newly published guidance to ensure they are complying with fundraising regulations.
Stuart Rea, head of the charities and not for profit team at law firm FBC Manby Bowdler, welcomed the briefing from The Charities Commission, the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, that provides guidelines for trustees when fundraising from the public.
It was drawn up following recent high profile cases that identified concerns with the fundraising practices of some charities and agencies.
‘Charity fundraising: a guide to trustee duties’ sets out six key principles to help trustees comply with their legal duties when overseeing their charity’s fundraising.
It includes the need to supervise fundraising and not to simply delegate responsibility; to protect the charity’s reputation, money and other assets; to identify and follow any recognised standards in the Code of Fundraising Practice; and the need to be transparent about such things as any commercial relationships relating to the fundraising.
Stuart said the Charity Commission advice gave the sector much needed clarity.
“Trustees have a key role in overseeing their charity’s fundraising and ensuring it reflects their organisation’s values. There was an impact on the public’s faith in charity fundraising following some of the cases last year and this new guidance will help trustees understand what they should be doing to meet legal and sector standards,” he explained.
“This guidance has been drawn up following widespread consultation and every charity trustee should be reading it and putting the principles into practice.”
He said that any trustees who are unsure if they are meeting fundraising regulations should take legal advice.
“Trustees are ultimately responsible for the fundraising activities of their organisations and failure to comply with regulations could have a serious impact on them personally as well as the charity.
“FBC Manby Bowdler’s specialist team has a vast wealth of experience in the charity sector and we are happy to advise on any issues that might arise from the new guidance.”
Sarah Atkinson, Director of Policy and Communications at the Charity Commission said: “Fundraising and public generosity play a vital role in making the good work of charities possible, and getting fundraising right can be extremely rewarding and valuable for everyone involved.
“We recognise that fundraising is complex, and that some boards may need to skill up in order to make sure their organisations are getting it right and providing acceptable donor care.”