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CC20 – Charities and Fundraising: a guide to trustee responsibilities

Posted 9 months ago By Dan Fletcher

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CC20 – Charities and Fundraising: a guide to trustee responsibilities is the Charity Commission’s guidance for trustees on fundraising. It was in part driven by the fundraising crises of 2015 and perceived weaknesses in charity governance. The guide states explicitly that trustees can not delegate ultimate legal responsibility for fundraising to executive staff. While it encourages trustees to delegate operation of effective ‘fundraising systems’, collectively trustees take ultimate responsibility for design and compliance of these systems. 

There are six main principles to CC20:
•    fundraising strategy and planning; 
•    supervising fundraisers (including third parties);
•    protecting the charity’s reputation and assets; 
•    complying with laws and regulations; 
•    living up to relevant standards; 
•    being open and accountable. 

The first principle focuses on coherence between a charity’s values and its fundraising practice. It seeks balance, ensuring trustees don’t step back when income is flowing or micromanage when money is tight. A more strategic and longer-term approach is best practice.
The second principle emphasises accountability for third-party paid and volunteer fundraisers. Under the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016, audited larger charities must also reference their third party fundraising contracts and policies in their annual reports.
The third principle connects fundraising activity and charity reputations. Trustees have an important role here. They also need to be realistic about what to expect from investments in fundraising, both in the short and the longer term.
Principles four and five deal with a range of rules for fundraising. Given on-going changes to regulation, trustees must update their compliance checks for all aspects of fundraising. The guidance sign-posts trustees to other regulatory bodies, such as the Fundraising Regulator, Information Commissioner’s Office and Gambling Commission, etc.
Finally, CC20 highlights the need to account for fundraising activity, performance and policies in a charity’s annual report and accounts. Openness is good fundraising practice.

Donors need to have confidence that their funds are being used to achieve the impact predicted by the charity. 

Dan Fletcher
Director (Fundraising)
Kingston Smith Fundraising and Management 
Dfletcher@ks.co.uk
020 7566 3826
@DanFletcherKSFM