Last week we hosted a webinar with the Fundraising Regulator and the Chartered Institute of Fundraising (CIOF) on how charities can best achieve compliance with the Code of Fundraising Practice and engage with the Fundraising Regulator as part of its investigation process in the event that complaints are made. Many charities looked to new and innovative forms of online fundraising during the pandemic, and now that face to face fundraising and events are less constrained by COVID restrictions, it is a good time for charities to revaluate whether their fundraising is complaint with the Code and what steps they can take to reduce the likelihood of complaints being made.

We were joined by Catherine Orr, Head of Casework at the Fundraising Regulator and Daniel Fluskey, Head of Policy and External Affairs at the CIO, who both gave valuable insights into how the Fundraising Regulator adjudicates on complaints and the common themes and pitfalls that arise. Hannah Lyons and Jess Neville, lawyers at Bates Wells, also provided their legal top tips for ensuing compliance. Key tips included:

  • Ensuring that your charity has a robust complaints policy in place and making sure it is followed in the event that a complaint is made
  • Documenting your decision making around particular complaints
  • Co-operating with the Fundraising Regulator in the event that an investigation is launched and making sure that you can quickly provide relevant documentation and records
  • Ensuring that you have legally compliant contracts in place with any third parties that fundraise on your behalf, including rights for you to monitor their activities and access their records
  • Carefully considering the content of your fundraising appeals to ensure that it is not misleading or inadvertently creating a restricted fund

Bates Wells will be delivering a series of webinars on key areas of fundraising in the coming months, including on Corporate Partnerships, Face to Face Fundraising and Lotteries and Free Prize Draws. Keep a look out for the sign-up details in due course.