News & Insight
8th November 2015
Ready for change?
Following the recent Etherington review, there are new legal and reporting requirements for all trustees.
The media has given great airtime to the recent scrutiny of charitable giving. Alongside negative headlines in the tabloid press, useful guidance has emerged around the responsibilities of trustees for fundraising.
Etherington’s review panel some about the ‘abdication of responsibility by trustees for fundraising’. It raised concerns about a disconnection between the values and ethos of the charity and its fundraising activities.
The review suggested that there is a greater involvement of trustees, in general, in the planning and execution of fundraising campaigns. An updated version of guidance from the Charity Commission is in preparation.
Trustees have a duty of care that extends to fundraising to cover:
1 Fundraising methods
2 The costs involved
3 The financial risk
4 How the money raised is spent
When fundraising activities are delegated to the executive (a fundraising department or directorate) the Trustees still carry the responsibility.
Under the new guidance, Trustees will be required to include a statement in their annual reporting setting out their approach to fundraising. This must include a statement about how members of the public are protected from undue pressure.
The review recommended a ‘three lines of defence’ model.
1. First line of accountability for the charity’s fundraising activities lies with the trustees
2. Fundraising must be carried out A] in compliance with the law and B] to adhere to high ethical standards.
3. Fundraising should be regarded as a critical governance issue.
The report sets out a number of practical steps that trustees should make, including:
· Making a statement in the annual report on whether the charity is registered with the new Fundraising Regulator and pays the fundraising levy
· Regularly reviewing their charity’s fundraising processes and compliance with the Code of Fundraising Practice, and not simply whether targets have been met
· Including fundraising activity on the risk register and managing it accordingly
· Regularly inviting their director of fundraising or other responsible staff to attend board meetings and report on activities.
Please get in touch if you’d like a discussion about how we can help you strengthen your fundraising governance.