Public fundraising can return under restrictions, regulators say

Charities’ public fundraising can resume amid the government’s easing of Covid-19 lockdown measures, according to guidance released by The Fundraising Regulator and Chartered Institute of Fundraising.

But the umbrella bodies have warned charities need to ensure they comply with latest government and devolved administrations’ restrictions around social distancing and avoid staging events that are likely to attract mass gatherings.

The guidance has been prepared by the two organisations after talks with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

“The recent changes to lockdown restrictions in England mean that public fundraising may return,” said the Fundraising Regulator.

“It is important to remember that some methods of fundraising, such as community fundraising events involving large groups of people, or mass participation events, cannot safely resume under current social distancing rules.”

Two sets of guidance have been released. The first covers the overarching principles which should be applied to all fundraising methods. While the second offers specific advice on public fundraising, including door-to-door, street and fundraising on private property.



“I want to be clear that public fundraising activities should only resume if it is safe to do so,” said the Fundraising Regulator’s head of policy Priya Warner.

“It’s the responsibility of individual charities to exercise judgment about when and how to resume fundraising, and this should only be when thorough risk assessments have been carried out, and informed decisions based on each individual organisation’s unique circumstances have been made.”

Daniel Fluskey, Chartered Institute of Fundraising’s head of policy and external affairs, added: “Public fundraising activities have been rightly on hold during lockdown, but with the return of non-essential shops and other businesses resuming activity, it is appropriate for charities to be thinking about how they can restart fundraising in a safe and responsible way.

“This guidance sets out the key considerations that organisations need to be thinking about as they plan their return to fundraising activities in line with social distancing requirements.”

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