As many of you will be aware, on 1st November new requirements come into force for certain fundraising agreements.  The fundraising section of this BWB update summarises the new requirements which stem from the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 and apply to agreements with paid fundraisers (professional fundraisers) and businesses which represent that donations are being made to charity (commercial participators).  Failure to comply will affect the ability of the professional fundraiser or commercial participator to enforce the agreement, and may also mean that the charity is in breach of the Code of Fundraising Practice.

Charities, professional fundraisers and commercial participators should definitely ensure any new agreements entered into after 1st November meet the new requirements.  Broadly this will mean including:

  • details of any voluntary fundraising scheme or standard that the commercial organisation undertakes to be bound by;
  • details of how the commercial organisation will protect vulnerable people and others from unreasonable intrusion on a person’s privacy, unreasonably persistent fundraising and undue pressure to donate; and
  • arrangements enabling the charity to monitor compliance with the requirements in the agreement.

As things stand, charities, professional fundraisers and commercial participators may need to amend existing agreements to cover these new requirements. This is because, despite representations from BWB and others in the sector, there is nothing in the commencement provisions of the new Act to exempt agreements entered into before 1st November. Guidance from the Fundraising Regulator on this is expected imminently. In the meantime, it would make sense for charities to identify all professional fundraisers and commercial participators with which they have arrangements so as to be ready to implement the Fundraising Regulator’s guidance when it is published.

In addition, charities over the audit threshold should also consider building in to new and existing agreements obligations to notify the charity of certain fundraising issues, which for financial years beginning after 1st November 2016, the charity will now have to report on.  These include:

  • whether the commercial organisation has undertaken to be bound by any voluntary fundraising scheme or standard
  • any failure by the commercial organisation to comply with such a scheme; and
  • the number of complaints received by the commercial organisation in relation to its fundraising

We will flag in the BWB Briefing if relevant guidance is issued by the Fundraising Regulator but in the meantime, If you need advice about suitable wording for agreements, please contact BWB’s Hannah Lyons.  

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Christine Rigby

Senior Consultant

+44(0)20 7551 7712

View full information about Christine Rigby
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Hannah Lyons


+44(0)20 7551 7845

View full information about Hannah Lyons

Posted on 18/10/2016 in Legal Updates

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