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Charity Chat July 2017 - Fundraising and Delegation

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David Porter continues his series of blogs - and the aim of ‘Charity Chat’ is to make Trustees, Directors, Governors and Committee Members (the Trustees) aware of their obligations and the charity law processes that have to be followed to run the charity correctly. The references I make are to the Charities Act 2011 (the Act) unless stated to the contrary. If there are matters you wish to raise please let me know.


The overall responsibility and accountability for all fundraising activities lies with the Trustees. Initially fund raising may be no more than asking friends and companies to make a donation. As the charity grows the need for funding will increase. The Trustees will have to act in the best interests of the charity; manage any of their resources responsibly so that the reputation of the charity is safeguarded; use their skill and take reasonable care.


The Trustees will need to agree a strategy to assess what the charity currently needs by way of funding and what it may need in the future. The funders and any donor will require a rationale for the funding. There is little enthusiasm amongst most donors and funders, except where they are specifically set up to fund such activity, to provide financing for the day to day management of an organisation. The charity needs to recognise that any contribution to its funds enables it to use other monies for the general purposes of the charity. For example, it might be possible to put together a scheme for a specific purpose, which would be attractive to the funders.


The charity can delegate its fundraising activity to sub-committees and/or outsiders. There are specific rules where the delegated party seeks payment, which I shall deal with in the next charity blog. If delegation is to a trustee, trustees or members of staff, who will not be paid specifically for their input, then any proposed documentation needs to be considered; a clear reporting procedure adopted, with regular reports on the current position.

If volunteers are to be used, then the charity needs to be clear about what is expected of them; the volunteers need to know the rules and boundaries, when speaking on behalf of the charity; they also need to know who to approach and what to do if there is a problem.


The Charity Commission has several useful items of guidance available from the list on their site. The Cabinet Office of the Third Sector has also produced a Charitable fundraising Guidance on part 2 of the Charities Act 1992. The Institute of Fundraising also provides training for staff and trustees where serious fund raising is to be undertaken. The legislation is contained in the Charities Act 1992, The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 and the Institute of Fundraising.