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Code of Fundraising Practice

Code of Fundraising Practice


What is the Code of Fundraising Practice?Code of Fundraising Practice

The Code of Fundraising Practice represents the standards expected of all Institute of Fundraising members, set by the fundraising community through the work of the Institute of Fundraising’s Standards Committee. The conduct of Institute members and Corporate Supporters MUST be legal and OUGHT to be open, honest and respectful.


How are complaints about fundraising handled?

Any complaints about a charity’s fundraising should be made to the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB). The FRSB acts as an independent public complaints system for the self-regulatory scheme, offering a system of redress for the public. Members of the FRSB scheme are required to adhere to the Code of Fundraising Practice. The FRSB can take complaints from members of the public on fundraising practice and can make adjudications against a fundraiser or organisation according to the IoF’s Code. If they find that a charity has breached the Code they can ultimately expel that organisation from membership.

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) ensures that professional standards are maintained for face to face and door to door fundraising, as well as working with local councils to put together Site Management Agreements to manage fundraising in public places.


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


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.