Charity law: new fundraising rules and guidance on reporting

Associate Solicitor Gemma RitchieTwo new requirements for charity fundraising took effect on 1 November. The first applies where a professional fundraiser or commercial participator raises money for a charity, and the second affects trustees’ annual reports.

i) Professional fundraisers and commercial participators

Compulsory written agreements between the charity and these third parties must now include extra information about:

  • The fundraising regulatory scheme or recognised fundraising standards that will apply to the professional fundraiser or commercial participator.
  • 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 the charity will monitor the professional fundraiser or commercial participator’s compliance with these requirements.

ii) New reporting requirements

From 1 November, charities that by law must have their accounts audited need to include extra information about fundraising in their trustees’ annual report. In general terms, the added information covers the charity’s:

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

Guidance on charity reporting and accounting

The Charity Commission has updated its guidance on annual reports, accounts and annual returns. The guidance, which applies to company and non-company charities for financial years beginning on or after 1 November 2016, and to all charitable incorporated organisations, can be viewed here.

Expert legal advice for charities

Our solicitors act for a wide range of charity clients, from small local charitable trusts to national organisations operating via corporate vehicles. To find out more about our services visit our charities page.

We are happy to discuss any aspect of the running of a charity or the conduct of its business without obligation. Call us on 01323 435 900 or email one of our specialist lawyers:

  • Mark Williams, Corporate Partner,
  • Gemma Ritchie (pictured above), Associate Solicitor,    

Posted: 10 November 2016

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