A recent update by the Institute of Fundraising highlights that the Charities Act 2016 “requires charity trustees to set out their approach to fundraising in their annual reports, in particular how they ensure the protection of vulnerable people and other members of the public from ‘unreasonable intrusion on a person’s privacy’, ‘unreasonably persistent approaches’ and ‘placing undue pressure on a person to give’. The Act also requires these provisions to protect vulnerable people and the wider public to be included in the agreements between charities and fundraising agencies working on their behalf. This includes specifying measures to enable charities to monitor compliance with these requirements.”
In addition to the above, a new fundraising regulator, aptly named the Fundraising Regulator, has been set up in order to regulate and govern the activities of fundraising amongst charities. Main tasks will involve adjudicating and handling complaints from the public.
What remains clear, however, is that there is a distinct movement towards ensuring trustees are more aware of their charities fundraising approaches. Ignorance is not an excuse and therefore trustees need to become more aware. Practical measures should include considering fundraising in any risk registers and ensuring proper scrutiny is given at least annually, to the charity’s fundraising approaches.
Sarah Atkinson, Director of Policy and Communications at the Charity Commission has commented: “The new law is part of a package of fundraising reforms introduced last year to strengthen fundraising practice and regulation. We know that many in the sector are working hard to support these changes, and to review their own fundraising practices so that public trust can be restored. The new Charities Act provisions will help charities to demonstrate that their donors and the public are treated with respect and protected from intrusive practices, and that recognised fundraising standards are always part of the picture where charities are working with a professional or commercial partner.” For more details summarising the update from the Institute of Fundraising, click here.