New guidance on charity fundraising in Scotland

OSCR and Institute of Fundraising Scotland offer help with new legislation

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator and the Institute of Fundraising Scotland have published guidance on new fundraising regulations.

The guidance has been written to help charities and fundraising organisations understand and comply with the Charities and Benevolent Fundraising (Scotland) Regulations 2009, which take effect on 1 July.

It covers street fundraisers, door-to-door and telephone fundraising but not cash or goods collections. Guidance on these issues is expected to be addressed in the Scottish regulations covering public benevolent collections, due in 2010.

Street fundraisers in Scotland until now have relied on the codes of practice from the Institute of Fundraising and the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association.

The new regulations, which were initially expected to be finalised in 2007, largely mirror those in England and Wales, apart from two main differences, caused by a different interpretation of the term 'professional fundraiser'.

It means the owner of a fundraising agency in Scotland is legally responsible for the actions of its face-to-face fundraisers, whereas in England and Wales all professional fundraisers are accountable for their own actions.

Unlike in England and Wales, street fundraisers in Scotland do not have to say how much they will be paid when soliciting funds or direct debit information from a prospective donor.

Gregor McNie, public affairs manager at the institute in Scotland, said that as long as fundraisers followed the Institute of Fundraising and PFRA's best practice the guidance would not change the way people raised funds in Scotland.

The guidance can be found here.

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