The Charities Regulator in Ireland has published a set of fundraising guidelines which place a large degree of responsibility on the trustees of charities to enforce standards.
Trustees of a charity should make sure that the charity takes all reasonable steps to treat donors fairly, according to the new guidelines, enabling donors to make informed decisions about any donations.
The Charities Regulator advises that trustees of a charity must ensure that:
- the charity accurately describes the purpose of any fundraising
- donations received are used to further the charity’s charitable purpose
- where donations are made for a specific purpose, the donor’s request is honoured
The guidelines say fundraising by third party agents should be the subject of a written contract while volunteers should be given training in whatever fundraising technique they are involved in.
Fundraisers, the guidelines say, must ensure that fundraising materials do not imply that money fundraised is for a restricted purpose (such as assisting a particular person or animal) when it may be used for different purposes or for general funds.
The guidelines cover a range of issues including:
- the responsibilities of trustees
- financial transparency and accountability.
About the Charities Regulator
The Charities Regulator is Ireland’s national statutory regulator for charitable organisations. An independent authority it was established on 16 October 2014 under the Charities Act 2009.
Its primary functions are to establish and maintain a public register of charitable organisations operating in Ireland and ensure their compliance with the Charities Acts.
Michael Ring, Minister for Rural and Community Development, said better regulation would “get rid of the rogues that caused the problems in relation to charities in this country”.
He told the Irish Times: “I won’t speak on any individual case today but we were all disappointed with what we saw happening over the last number of years”.
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