Fundraising with third parties

Published: 21/02/2018
Updated: 21/02/2018

Summary

 

There are specific rules you need to follow when your fundraising involves third party organisations. The rules set out in the 2009 Regulations state:

  • the information that must be supplied when asking for money on behalf of a charity and
  • the information that must be contained in the fundraising agreements between charities and those who fundraise for them.

The 2009 Regulations cover benevolent fundraising, which means more than just charity fundraising. It means fundraising for any charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purposes.

Our technical guide explains the details and covers all benevolent fundraising – in this guidance we focus on the 2009 Regulations and how they relate to charities.


In this section we outline the rules for ‘benevolent fundraising’ set out in the 2009 Regulations and how they apply to charity trustee duties. Benevolent fundraising includes raising money for a specific charity or for general charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purposes.

Benevolent fundraising and benevolent fundraisers are the terms used in the 2009 Regulations. In this section of the guidance, we refer to fundraising and fundraisers to cover all types of benevolent fundraising.

The Technical Guide to the 2009 Regulations explains all the details of the regulations.

The 2009 Regulations deal with three types of fundraisers:

 

Benevolent fundraiser (internal to the charity)
This is any benevolent body and companies connected with it. A benevolent fundraiser can also be an individual who is associated with the body or connected companies in the following ways:

  • as a person in management or control
  • as an employee or agent
  • as a volunteer.

 

For example: a benevolent fundraiser may be a salaried charity fundraiser, the chief officer of a charity or a charity’s trading subsidiary.

 

Professional fundraiser (external to the charity)
This is a person who runs a fundraising business or who gets paid to raise money for a benevolent organisation or for general charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purposes.

A professional fundraiser is not an employee or trustee of a charity, a trading subsidiary, or a commercial participator.

For example: a professional fundraiser may be a company that is paid to conduct face to face or telephone fundraising on behalf of a charity. 

 

Commercial participator (external to the charity)
This is a business that takes part in a promotional venture that sees some or all of the proceeds given to one or more benevolent organisations or will be applied for charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purposes.

A commercial participator is not the same as a professional fundraiser.

For example: a high street shop selling Charity Christmas cards and donating a certain proportion of the profits to the charity is a commercial participator.

 

The 2009 Regulations focus on:

  • The fundraising agreements that organisations must have with any professional fundraiser or commercial participator that fundraises for them  
  • What those fundraising agreements must say and
  • What information different fundraisers need to provide in different situations.

Many charities decide to work with professional fundraisers or commercial participators to help them raise funds and this is perfectly legitimate. You, as charity trustees, need to make sure that your charity is working with these third parties in a way which is both legal and fits with the ethics of your charity.

The charity trustee duties require that you assess and understand the risks and benefits of working with third parties and make decisions in the best interests of the charity.

 

Fundraising agreements
If you’re working with a professional fundraiser or a commercial participator your charity must have a fundraising agreement in place. The agreement must be in writing (electronic is fine) and it must contain certain elements, including:

  • The name and address of the parties involved
  • The dates the agreement covers and was signed
  • What the aim of the agreement is and the fundraising methods involved 
  • How much the professional fundraiser or commercial participator is paid and when they are paid.

If the agreement is with a commercial participator, it also needs to include:

  • the proportion of money from sales which will be given to the charity, and/or
  • the amount of donations the commercial participator will make to the charity from the sales.

You can find details of all the requirements for fundraising agreements in our Technical Guide: Charities and Benevolent Fundraising (Scotland) Regulations 2009.

Information given to donors 
The 2009 Regulations require different information to be given to potential donors depending on who is carrying out the fundraising and how they are doing it, for example face to face or in writing. It is important that those fundraising for your charity know what information they need to give potential donors and when.

You can find details of all the information to be given to donors in our Technical Guide: Charities and Benevolent Fundraising (Scotland) Regulations 2009. The Code of Fundraising Practice also details these requirements.  

Any money raised for your charity by a professional fundraiser or commercial participator must be transferred as soon as possible and at the latest within 28 days of receipt.


SOURCES OF HELP, ADVICE AND BEST PRACTICE

This Guide details all the requirements of the 2009 Regulations.

The Institute of Fundraising’s Scottish charity law in relation to charitable collections guidance provides key information on these requirements.