New pay guidance frowns on commission for charity fundraisers

Institute of Fundraising publishes new code of practice

Charities and fundraising agencies should pay commission to fundraisers only after all other methods of payment have been ruled out, according to new guidance from the Institute of Fundraising.

In a new code, Payment of Fundraisers, the institute reiterates its opposition to commission payments, as set out in a draft code issued earlier this year.

The new code says commission payments should not be made unless "all other sources of fundraising investment have been explored and exhausted" and the organisation has first "considered the full business impact and also the impact on the wider fundraising sector of any public concerns".

If a fundraiser is paid on a commission basis, the new code says, the payments should be "subject to extensive scrutiny and approval by the fundraising organisation's trustees, or the senior executive". It says safeguards such as maximum amounts should be put in place.

"Charities should think creatively about ways to incentivise fundraisers without using commission payments," said Louise Richards, director of policy and campaigns at the institute.

The new code will be launched on 1 December.

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