'Trustees must take responsibility for fundraising', says revised draft guidance


The Charity Commission has published new draft guidance which states more clearly than ever that trustees must take responsibility for the fundraising undertaken by their charities. It has launched a public consultation which runs until 11 February.

The Commission makes clear that trustees have a key role to play in setting their charity’s approach to fundraising and ensuring it reflects their charity’s values.

Trustees have always had to lead in setting their charity’s approach to fundraising, by complying with the law and the charity sector’s own standards, protecting a charity’s reputation and making sure that the charity’s fundraising reflects its values. However recent widespread criticism of charity fundraising, sparked by a number of high profile cases, and the resulting damage to public trust and confidence in charities has shown that some trustees have not overseen fundraising effectively. The draft guidance signals a new approach to ensure improved oversight by trustees.

The draft guidance identifies six key principles to help trustees fulfil their responsibilities for their charity’s fundraising:

  • plan effectively
  • supervise your fundraisers
  • protect the charity’s reputation and other assets
  • comply with fundraising law
  • follow recognised standards
  • be open and accountable

Sarah Atkinson, Director of Policy and Communications at the Commission said:

“The revised guidance reflects the need to put public trust back at the heart of charity fundraising. It makes absolutely clear that trustees are in the driving seat of their charity’s approach to fundraising. This doesn’t mean that we expect them to become expert fundraisers themselves – but the buck really does stop with them. This guidance explains what we as the regulator expect of them.”