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Code of Fundraising Practice

Code of Fundraising Practice


The Code of Fundraising Practice represents the standards set by and expected of all Institute of Fundraising members.

To see the progress of the new Code of Fundraising Practice in an infographic, please click here.

Code of Fundraising Practice

The Code and Self-Regulation of Fundraising

The principle of self-regulation is to allow individuals and fundraising organisations to demonstrate best practice, eliminate poor practice and increase public trust and confidence in the voluntary and community sector.

There are two key parts to self-regulation. Firstly, the Code of Fundraising Practice contains the standards that the fundraising community sets through the work of the Institute of Fundraising’s Standards Committee, as well as offering legal guidance in key areas.

Secondly, the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) acts as an independent public complaints system for the self-regulatory scheme, licensing the scheme’s logo to its members and offering a system of redress for the public. Members of the FRSB scheme are required to adhere to the Code of Fundraising Practice and the Fundraising Promise.

The Institute of Fundraising encourages all fundraising organisations to join the FRSB.

This document has more detail on the role of the FRSB 

Our Values

  • Legal
  • Open
  • Honest
  • Respectful

The conduct of Institute members and Corporate Supporters MUST be legal and OUGHT to be open, honest and respectful.

The new Code of Fundraising Practice subsumes all previous Institute of Fundraising Codes of Fundraising Practice and Codes of Conduct.  

Legal Matters

This Code sets standards across all areas of fundraising.  We have used MUST” where there is a legal requirement and OUGHT” where there is no legal requirement but the Institute of Fundraising is treating the issue as a professional standard to be met by members of the Institute. 


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.

The Institute of Fundraising is grateful for the support of Bates Wells and Braithwaite for their on-going support of our Code of Fundraising Practice in England and Wales.


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.



The Code contains broad statements and general guidance about legal requirements but fundraising organisations and fundraisers should seek their own legal advice to ensure they comply with legal requirements relating to their fundraising activities.  The Institute of Fundraising, Bates Wells & Braithwaite London LLP, Turcan Connell, and Edwards & Co. Solicitors do not accept any liability in respect of any person relying on these Codes except to the extent that they have provided specific advice directly to that person concerning that person’s activities.

We have compiled a quick guide to charity law for your reference.  

Although fundraising is a predominantly self-regulating activity, there are many different bodies involved in the regulation of charitable activity and different fundraising methods. We have compiled a directory of these bodies for your reference.

In this section:

1.0 Key principles and behaviours
2.0 Working with Volunteers
3.0 Working with Children
4.0 Working with Third Parties
5.0 Fundraising Communications and Techniques
6.0 Direct Marketing
7.0 Reciprocal Mailing
8.0 Telephone
9.0 Digital Media
10.0 Trusts
11.0 Major Donors
12.0 Corporate Partnerships
13.0 Raffles and Lotteries
14.0 Fundraising through Payroll Giving
15.0 Events
16.0 Public Collections
17.0 Static Collections
18.0 Legacies
19.0 Payment of Fundraisers
20.0 Handling Donations


The new Code; what has changed?