Charity fundraising – what are a trustee’s responsibilities?

Charity fundraising – what are a trustee’s responsibilities?

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Fundraising is difficult, especially with more and more demand on donors’ income. However, there are opportunities; 70% of potential donors indicated they would be more inclined to give to a charity if they knew how their money was directly helping.

Digital technology also represents a significant fundraising opportunity for charities, both in terms of the method of collection and also communication.

Charities have to be more creative in the fundraising that they undertake, but trustees need to consider the risks involved, particularly in the light of recent legislative changes.

The way funds are raised, and the costs incurred, are often scrutinised and can be criticised. Many recent negative articles in the press about charities relate to issues with fundraising. With the right structures and procedures in place, you can make sure that any stories about your charity focus on the wonderful things it’s doing for its beneficiaries, and not criticism of fundraising practices. 

Fundamental principles

There are six fundraising principles which summarise the responsibilities of trustees:

  1. Plan effectively
  2. Supervise your fundraisers
  3. Protect your charity’s reputation, money and other assets
  4. Identify and ensure compliance with laws and regulations
  5. Identify and follow recognised standards
  6. Be open and accountable

Fundraising effectively and responsibly  

With MHA, we have created 11 Key Steps for Trustees, 1 Giant Leap for Your Charity, a monthly guide for trustees to allow them to upskill and improve standards in a stepped and measured way. Each month’s article covers a different area. The article for month 10 focuses on fundraising and explores how trustees should apply the fundamental principles, and can be viewed here.

Need help?

For more information on how we can help, please speak to your usual MHA Larking Gowen contact.

Call 0330 024 0888 or email

Giles Kerkham


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