Charities and Fundraising Activities
Fundraising is something that all charities must be alert to and it is useful for charities to have diverse income streams. This is not always possible for all types of charities and many charities need to pro-actively fundraise through public events. The current coronavirus pandemic has made it very difficult for charities to proactively fundraise and hold fundraising events as a result of social distancing and self isolation.
Over the next few weeks many charities will find themselves having to assess their planned events and activities and benchmark these against the Government's guidance on holding public events. It may be that some events have to be postponed whilst others may be able to be managed effectively and a charity's activities should be assessed individually with regard to its context and attendees. All arrangements concerning activities should be clearly communicated.
It is important to remember that charities are by their nature resilient organisations and are used to working within tight budgets, restrictions and in highly demanding environments. As part of their operation, charities have always had to continuously review their practices and adapt to external demands. The ability to adapt and adjust is something which allows charities to fulfil their mission efficiently and meet the wider needs of communities, organisations and individuals.
Whilst charities may find that their ability to hold fundraising events is restricted over the next few weeks, it is possible for adjustments to be made to fundraising practices and any adjustments should be in line with The Code of Fundraising Practice.
Furthermore, it is equally important for charities to protect the assets and funds they already have and ensure they are applied in promotion of the charity's objects. It may be that charities find themselves reviewing their sources of income and assessing whether these can be diversified for the benefit of the charity. Charities should continue to be open and transparent about their fundraising activities and ensure that they remain vigilant to fraudsters and suspicious donations as, sadly, charities remain a target to criminal exploitation.
Charity trustees can remind themselves of their duties in relation to fundraising by visiting the Charity Commission guidance "Charity Fundraising: a Guide to Trustee Duties".
This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.