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On the back of concerns over charitable fundraising, the Charity Commission is currently consulting on its revised draft charity fundraising guidance. The commission is seeking views on its revised guidance for CC20 – “charity fundraising: a guide to trustee duties” – and has welcomed responses from trustees (see details below).

The updated guidance looks to provide advice on charitable fundraising and, in particular, helps trustees to “comply with their legal trustee duties when overseeing their charity’s fundraising” activities. The guidance also looks to reinforce the notion that trustees must take responsibility for – and are publicly accountable for – all fundraising undertaken by their charities.

In summary – charity fundraising guidance CC20

To ensure that trustees fully understand their responsibilities the Charity Commission has provided an “at a glance” summary:

  • Plan effectively
  • Supervise your fundraisers
  • Protect the charity’s reputation and other assets
  • Comply with fundraising law
  • Follow recognised standards
  • Be open and accountable

Charity commission fundriaisng principles

“Trustees must take responsibility for fundraising”

It is no secret that many charities rely on public support and the generosity of donors, which is why sector-wide public trust in charities is extremely important. However, after a tough 2015, public trust in charities is at its lowest level since 2007, with charities having fallen four places to 12th in the list of most trusted organisations and institutions in the UK.

Regaining public trust in charities 

Simon Bladen, Charity Partner at Hawsons, commented: “After a very challenging 2015 – where the charity sector made the headlines for all of the wrong reasons – regaining public trust and confidence in charities is extremely important in 2016. As we commented at the time of the Kids Company closure, the impact of its financial oversights will have, and has had, an enormous impact on the sector as a whole.”

“Fundraising is arguably a charity’s most public-facing activity, which is why, now perhaps more than ever,  trustees must be involved throughout the fundraising process. This revised CC20 charity fundraising guidance should help trustees understand their role in their charity’s fundraising activities and help them get it right.”

Trustees are publicly accountable for fundraising 

Simon added: “It is important to reemphasise that trustees are the custodians of their charities and that they have ultimate responsibility for all of the charity’s activities, including fundraising.”

“As the guidance document states, ‘first and foremost, it is the trustees of charities who are legally responsible for their charity’s fundraising’ activities. This particular focus on trustee accountability has come about on the back of concerns regarding trustee’s ability to oversee fundraising effectively, undoubtedly heightened by last year’s Kids Company case.”

Consultation details

Announcing the draft guidance the commission said that it “welcomes responses from trustees of all size charities as well as the public and other interested parties to ensure the guidance is clear” to everyone.

The consultation on the charity fundraising guidance will close on 11 February 2016.

For more information please download the full consultation document here.

More from our charity experts

You can find all of our latest charity sector news and newsletters here.

If you are looking for advice in a particular area, please get in touch with your usual Hawsons contact.

Alternatively, we offer all new clients a free initial meeting to have a discussion about their own personal circumstances – find out more or book your free initial meeting here. We have offices in Sheffield, Doncaster and Northampton.

Simon Bladen is the partner responsible for looking after the firm’s legal clients and has worked at Hawsons throughout his career. For more information or advice on anything covered in this article, please contact Simon on [email protected] or 0114 226 7141.

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