What is the Code of Fundraising Practice?

What is the Code of Fundraising Practice?

As of July 2016, the Code of Fundraising Practice is set by the Fundraising Regulator. It outlines the standards expected of all charitable fundraising organisations across the UK.

All members of the Institute of Fundraising have committed to the highest standards of fundraising, and to abide by the Code of Fundraising Practice at all times. 

MUST*” is used where there is a legal requirement and “MUST” where there is no legal requirement but is set as a professional standard to be met.

(* denotes legal requirement)


How are complaints about fundraising handled?

Any complaints about a charity’s fundraising should be made to the Fundraising Regulator. As of July 2016, the Fundraising Regulator is the independent regulator of charitable fundraising. They were established following the Etherington review of fundraising self-regulation (2015) to strengthen the system of charity regulation and restore public trust in fundraising.

Their role as regulator is to:

  • Set and promote the standards for fundraising practice (‘the code’ and associated rulebooks) in consultation with the public, fundraising stakeholders and legislators.
  • Investigate cases where fundraising practices have led to significant public concern.
  • Adjudicate complaints from the public about fundraising practice, where these cannot be resolved by the charities themselves.
  • Operate a fundraising preference service to enable individuals to manage their contact with charities.
  • Where poor fundraising practice is judged to have taken place, recommend best practice guidance and take proportionate remedial action.


Any complaints about the professional conduct of an Individual Member of the Institute should be made through the Complaints and Disciplinary Regulations.


Legal references

Bates Wells BraithwaiteBates Wells & Braithwaite London LLP have verified that each MUST* and MUST NOT* reflects a legal requirement in respect of the law in England and Wales as at June 2012.


Turcan ConnellTurcan Connell have verified that each “MUST*” and MUST NOT*” reflects a legal requirement in respect of the law in Scotland as at June 2012. 


Edwards and co


Edwards and Co. Solicitors have verified that each “MUST*” and “MUST NOT*” reflects a legal requirement in respect of the law in Northern Ireland as at June 2012.