Is your charity engaged in fundraising…? article banner image

…If so, you must be aware of the updated charity commission guidance. 


Six key principles form the heart of the updated Charity Commission guidance CC20 on Charity Fundraising, produced in response to a recent review and consultation. All charities involved in fundraising should familiarise themselves with this guidance.


At a glance the six principles are:

1. Planning effectively – it is for the charity trustees to set the overall strategy which should include provision for monitoring the implementation of this. The strategy should take account of risks, the charity’s values, its relationships with donors and the wider public, income needs and expectations;

2. Supervising fundraisers – appropriate systems must be in place to oversee fundraising to ensure it remains in the charity’s best interests. If commercial partners are used then specific legal rules and standards must be complied with;

3. Protecting the charity’s reputation, money and assets – steps should be taken to ensure the charity is protected from undue risk including consideration of the reputational impact of fundraising on donors, supporters and the public and taking precautions to reduce risk of loss or fraud;

4. Identifying and ensuring compliance with the laws and regulations that apply specifically to your charity fundraising – there are detailed rules that apply to different areas such as data protection, licensing, working with commercial partners, lotteries etc. Charities need to have sufficient information and take appropriate advice to ensure compliance with legal obligations;

5. Identifying and following any recognised standards that apply to a charity’s fundraising – the Charity Commission expects all charities that fundraise to comply with the Code of Fundraising Practice

6. Being open and accountable – complying with accounting and reporting requirements and effectively explaining the charity’s fundraising work to the public and supporters.

The guidance goes into all of these aspects in more depth and also gives examples of the mistakes to avoid. Particularly:


  • Ensuring that the trustees get their role in fundraising right.  They cannot ignore their role to set the strategy for fundraising, but equally, where they delegate responsibility to staff then the trustees must not become over-involved and must allow the staff to carry out the functions which have been assigned to them using appropriate systems and processes to ensure that staff are working within the parameters set.
  • Where a subsidiary trading company rather than the charity itself enters into commercial partnerships, there must be sufficient systems in place to oversee such relationships to ensure that the trading company only enters into arrangements which are in the best interest of the charity, properly protects the charity’s name and reputation, are subject to review and the nature of the commercial partnership is clear and transparent.


Fundraising is a complex area for charities and Stephens Scown can help you navigate the rules and regulations that apply and put in place appropriate agreements to protect the charity.


Please contact the following if you need advice – 01726 74433 or