Sector bodies to produce new guidance on charity fundraising

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations, the charity chief executives body Acevo, the Institute of Fundraising and the Charity Finance Group will all be involved in the discussions

Street fundraising
Street fundraising

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations, the charity chief executives body Acevo, the Institute of Fundraising and the Charity Finance Group will produce new guidance for trustees and chief executives on managing and governing charity fundraising in the light of recent public concern about some  fundraising tactics.

The Charity Commission will also contribute to the guidance, which the organisations say will aim to help charities strike the right balance with their fundraising.

It is intended that the move, announced today, will complement the commission’s guidance, CC20 – Charities and Fundraising, according to a statement issued by the NCVO, which will host the meetings between the various bodies involved.

This comes after Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, said in a blog last week that the debate about detrimental fundraising practices needed to move beyond fundraisers, who had often unfairly had "fingers pointed at them" when their tasks were overseen by chief executives and trustee boards. 

The guidance, which it is hoped will be ready by the end of the year, is expected to give an overview of different fundraising techniques, principles of data protection and consent and good practice relating to donor care.

In particular, it will guide charities on how to fit their fundraising strategies to their purposes or values.

A spokesman for the NCVO said charities could follow the example of Age UK’s "fundraising charter", which describes how the older people’s charity developed its fundraising strategy with older people in mind, meaning it does not engage in certain activities, such as street or door-to-door fundraising or cold-calling people.

Earlier this month, William Shawcross, chair of the Charity Commission, said the commission was revising and strengthening its guidance on fundraising and trustees’ duties and that a draft version would be published for consultation later this year.

Karl Wilding, director of public policy at the NCVO, said in a statement: "Fundraisers’ methods will inevitably be shaped by the values and the strategy of the organisation they’re working in. Boards can’t demand the ends without taking some responsibility for the means.

"Our guidance will help boards and chief executives ensure they know what the consequences of certain fundraising demands and techniques are. It will provide advice on how to strike the balance between their responsibility to generate funds and their responsibility to act ethically and uphold their reputation."

Asheem Singh, director of public policy at Acevo, said: "A charity’s fundraising techniques create reputational implications, not only for the fundraising team, but for the whole organisation. Chief executives and boards need to be in the loop and on top of the methods and techniques their fundraisers deploy."

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