Charities warned to be aware of new fundraising rules

The Charity Commission has issued an alert to highlight changes to the new Charities Act fundraising rules, which came into force in November 2016.

The new rules particularly affect:

  • Agreements which must be adhered to when third‑party fundraisers raise money for charities
  • Trustees’ annual reports of larger charities that fundraise from the public

The Charity Commission believed that the amendments to the fundraising rules will help charities demonstrate their commitment to protecting donors and the public from poor fundraising practices.

The new regulations are also designed to ensure that fundraising standards form part of the agreements between charities and any commercial or professional fundraisers with which they work.

More information about the new rules and whether your organisation is affected can be found here.

The Commission has also joined with the Fundraising Regulator to jointly promote the requirement for charities and their trustees to adhere to data protection laws when handling donors’ personal information.

The move follows a scathing report by the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) into the conduct of a number of charities that had shared data through a third party, which led to retired poppy seller, Olive Cooke, being bombarded with letters asking for donations.

An inquest found that the 92 year old grandmother became so exhausted with the charity requests that she took her own life in May last year.

Since then the third sector has come under increasing pressure to reform, with the FRSB making a number of changes to the code of fundraising practice in a bid to give the public more control over the way charities communicate with them.