A code of conduct for major donor fundraising has been launched by the Institute of Fundraising.
Best Practice for Major Donor Fundraising addresses legal issues, prospect research, data protection, legacies and tax issues.
It also covers the relationship between donor and fundraiser and the opportunities to expand that relationship, as well as major donor programmes, membership and friend schemes.
Helen Pert, senior consultant at fundraising consultancy Brakeley, which specialises in major donor fundraising, welcomed the code. "For many charities a huge amount of mystery shrouds the major gift process," she said.
"This code will provide a vital framework for many charities, whether they are just starting out with major gifts or have an established major gift programme."
Mide Akerewusi, head of high-value appeals at Scope, chaired the working party responsible for developing the code, which he said deals with one of the most financially rewarding fundraising areas in the sector.
Laura Thomas, policy and standards officer at the institute, said: "With an increasing number of donors taking interest in the stewardship of their gifts, major donor fundraising is a growing market for charities."