England and Wales
New regulations came into force on 1 April 2008 for professional fundraisers and commercial participators making solicitation statements.
A solicitation statement is a detailed declaration which must be made by professional fundraisers, commercial participators, trustees, officers and employees of the charity when collecting for charitable institutions or charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purposes in England and Wales. It contains information about for whom the collection is taking place and how much their organisation is receiving for making the appeal.
Introduced as part of the Charities Act 2006, the law seeks to enable donors to make informed decisions, knowing how much of their donation will reach the fundraising organisation and the proportion that will be received by the professional fundraiser or commercial participator.
Solicitation statement guidance is available on the Office of the Third Sector website, including example statements and where they might be needed.
Signed-in Organisational members of the Institute can also access summary briefings about the requirements. Remember to sign-in before clicking the links.
In Scotland, similar regulations came into force on 1 July 2009 although there are differences to the requirements of the Charities Act 2006 in England and Wales.
Arrangements between benevolent bodies and professional fundraisers and/or commercial participators must be governed by a written agreement, as in England and Wales. Statements must also be made which indicate to the supporter how much of their money will reach the intended organisation.
These regulations do not extend to employees or trustees of the organisation as they do in England and Wales.
Full guidance has been produced by the Institute of Fundraising Scotland and OSCR (Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator). A quick members' guide has also been produced for signed-in Organisational members of the Institute.
Read the quick members' guide (for signed-in Organisational members).
Code of Fundraising Practice and Guidance
The aim of the regulations is to improve transparency in fundraising. The Code of Fundraising Practice, which sets out the law and best practice for a range of areas also promote accountability and transparency. The Payment of Fundraisers section of the Code and Accountability and Transparency guidance are particularly relevant to this issue.