Excellence in fundraising is a trustee responsibility

05 November 2021
Governance and Compliance
Standard Content
A fundraiser fundraising in costume

Ahead of the launch of our new trustee handbook, providing guidance on fundraising regulation for charity trustees in Scotland, Michelle Cook, Head of Scotland, looks at what responsibilities trustees hold for their own charities’ fundraising.

Last month we published our compilation of insights and opinions on the impact of the pandemic, Fundraising and Giving During COVID, which highlighted how well fundraisers adapted to meet COVID challenges. 

The resource also looked at how trustee boards continue to face challenges in meeting their obligation to ensure continued sustainability of their organisations and services.  

As many boards review their fundraising strategy, trustees - regardless of charity size - need to recognise and understand their legal responsibilities around fundraising as laid out in the Code of Fundraising Practice.  

In order to assist trustees operating in Scotland, we will be launching a new handbook which will provide trustees with guidance on fundraising regulation in Scotland, sustainability planning and donor relations. In this, Scottish organisations will provide insights in addition to the latest fundraising governance regulation from OCSR enabling boards to ensure fundraising is an organisational priority and all fundraising activity is done to the highest standards.

Trustees and regulation - key points

The handbook will look at how, as part of their governance responsibilities and as laid out in the Code of Fundraising Practice, a charity’s trustees have overall responsibility for the fundraising carried out by, or on behalf of, their charity. 

It will also address how the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel administer the Fundraising Guarantee for Scottish registered charities.  

By registering for the Fundraising Guarantee, a charity is making a positive statement about their values, culture and practices and outlining to the public how they can expect to be treated. Holders of the Fundraising Guarantee demonstrate their commitment to adhering to fundraising best practice as outlined in the Fundraising Code of Practice and ensuring all their fundraising is legal, open, honest and respectful. 

It is important to note that trustees also play a key role in the system of enhanced self-regulation in Scottish fundraising, and where something goes wrong, members of the public can follow the three-step complaints process. 

This process encourages an individual to raise concerns about charity fundraising directly with the charity, but if unsatisfied to escalate the complaint to its trustees before, if still unsatisfied, complaining to the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel. 

As charities continue to feel the lasting impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their fundraising, this Trustees’ Week, we encourage trustees to reflect on what responsibilities they hold for fundraising regulation at their charity. 

Trustees and Scottish Fundraising - A practical Handbook will be available this Winter.  

Michelle Cook
Michelle Cook
Head of Scotland at the Chartered Institute of Fundraising
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