Freedom Day: Charities urged to ‘maintain a cautious approach’ to fundraising

The Fundraising Regulator and Chartered Institute of Fundraising (CIOF) have released fresh guidance around public fundraising following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions this week.

The so-called ‘Freedom Day’ changes say the government remove requirements around mask wearing and social distancing.

But despite the changes the fresh guidance urge charities to maintain caution.

“We remind organisations that the virus has not gone away and therefore careful planning and risk assessments must be undertaken before carrying out any fundraising activity so that the public, donors and fundraisers are protected,” said the Fundraising Regulator and CIOF.

“With the easing of some formal restrictions comes greater focus on individual organisations to take responsibility for their own way of working.”

The guidance urges charities to ensure they keep up to date with latest government guidance, which may change over time.

Thorough risk assessment to identify risks associated with fundraising activity should also be carried out. This should cover risks to staff, volunteers and the public.

Typical measures to minimise risk include limiting numbers attending events, continuing with social distancing and keeping indoor spaces ventilated, says the guidance.

Charities are also urged to “consider the public mood and likely feelings and preferences of supporters”.

“People may not want to donate or engage with you in the same way that they did before the pandemic,” says the guidance.

“You must remain polite and respectful and not put the public under undue pressure to donate.”

In addition, charities are urged to ensure that any decisions around fundraising “are thoroughly considered, carefully evaluated, and regularly reviewed”.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) is seeking the views of charities around the relaxing of Covid-19 restrictions.

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