Are you planning a fundraising campaign or appeal this Giving Tuesday? Whether your aim is to ask people to donate money or goods, charitable institutions and those fundraising on their behalf must make sure their fundraising is in line with the standards set by the UK-wide Code of Fundraising Practice.

The code is set and maintained by the Fundraising Regulator – the independent regulator of charitable fundraising in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The regulator has shared these tips to help you get to know the code, and how you can make sure your fundraising is legal, open, honest and respectful.

Find out if the code applies to you

Why is it important to know about the code? Charities that fundraise are expected to do so in a way which encourages public trust and confidence, in line with the law and recognised standards. The code applies if fundraising is conducted by or on behalf of a charitable organisation (such as registered charities, exempt charities and some community interest companies) and the fundraising is in the UK. Your governing body (board of trustees) is ultimately responsible for compliance.

If you are not fundraising on behalf of a charity, you can still use the code and accompanying guidance to make sure your activity is in line with best practice.

Familiarise yourself with the standards

The code is freely available online. It is split into three parts to make it easy to find what is relevant to your fundraising activity. The parts relate to:

1. ‘all fundraising’ – which trustees, staff and volunteers should be aware of
2. ‘working with others’ – essential when working with volunteers, children or other third parties; and
3. ‘specific fundraising methods’ – which summarise what you need to consider for activities like communications, digital fundraising or events.

All of the standards are informed by four key values: legal, open, honest and respectful. You should always bear these in mind when fundraising.

Dive deeper by accessing guidance and support

The Fundraising Regulator has a host of guidance for trustees, fundraising staff and volunteers including free training videos. It also has advice for people and businesses wanting to donate or fundraise, including tips on giving safely to charity and how to set up a fundraising appeal.

Within the code there are also links to further guidance from organisations like the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, Charity Commissions for England and Wales and Northern Ireland, and the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

Double-check your fundraising campaigns

Once you’re clued up on the code, do double check your Giving Tuesday online fundraising pages, website, forms and processes are all aligned with best practice. If anything seems amiss, do seek professional advice as charities are responsible for making sure that they meet any legal requirements.

Remember, the code doesn’t just apply on Giving Tuesday, but to fundraising all year round. So, keep those values legal, open, honest and respectful in mind for your future activity as well.

Got questions we haven’t covered? You can contact the Fundraising Regulator’s free advice service to ask any questions you might have about the code and fundraising regulation.