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Fundraising reporting update

1 December 2020 | Applicable law: England and Wales

The Fundraising Regulator has issued good practice guidance (the 'Guidance') on 15 January 2020 to help charities meet the fundraising reporting requirements in section 162A of the Charities Act 2011.

Recent analysis carried out by the Fundraising Regulator revealed that 60% of charities failed to fully explain their fundraising practices in their annual report. Such a high percentage is a concern when considering that an explanation of fundraising practices is a requirement under the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 (the 'Act').

The fundraising reporting requirements in Section 13 of the Act require larger charities (those who have £1 million gross income) to include specific information in their annual reports for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 November 2016. The purpose of the reporting requirements is to enforce responsible fundraising.

To deal with the reporting issues, on 15 January 2020 the Fundraising Regulator issued good practice guidance on meeting the fundraising reporting requirements in the Charities Act 2011. The guidance can be accessed here. The guidance provides advice in respect of the information that should be included for each of the required statements.

The key points to take away from the guidance are that charities should openly explain their fundraising in a coherent and cogent manner and they should comply with their reporting obligations. Whilst it is true that the reporting requirements only apply to audited charities, the Fundraising Regulator is clear that smaller charities should consider complying with the requirements in any event to show that they are in line with best practice when it comes to fundraising.

The guidance also provides an example of a fully compliant report as well as notes on what charities should expect from auditors and independent examiners. The function of the fully compliant report is for use as a template on which charities can expand their own fundraising activities, rather than for use as a boilerplate.

The chair of the Fundraising Regulator, Lord Toby Harris, has said that they recognise that this is the first year of reporting in this manner and are committed to working with charities to promote better reporting practice. Charities that are required to have their accounts audited should make use of the guidance and the examples when compiling their annual reports.

If you have any questions about the guidance or how your charity should report its fundraising please contact Chris Priestley.

This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.

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