England & Wales

Charity law in England and Wales is governed by The Charities Act 1992, 1994 and 2006. In relation to fundraising it outlines mandatory:

  • agreements between charitable institutions and professional fundraisers
  • agreements between charitable institutions and commercial participators
  • statements of purpose e.g. with regard to fundraising or participation
  • where the status of a registered charity must appear
  • telephone fundraising and Broadcast appeals
  • rights of access to books and records
  • regulations governing the transition of money from fundraiser to charity
  • penalties
  • injunctions to prevent unauthorised fundraising.

Read the Charities Act 1992.

Read the Charities Act 1993.

Read the Charities Act 2006.

Charities Act 2006

The new Act became law for England and Wales on 8th November 2006. Its aim is to reform charity law and regulation to:

  • enable charities to administer themselves more efficiently and be more effective;
  • improve the regulation of charity fundraising, and reduce regulation of the sector, especially for smaller charities;
  • provide a clear definition of charity with an emphasis on public benefit; and
  • modernise the Charity Commission's functions and powers as regulator, increase its accountability, and preserve its independence from Ministers.

It also made provisions for the self-regulation of fundraising.

A plain English guide to the Act, What Trustees Need to Know, has been produced by the Cabinet Office and the Charity Commission. Section H6 relates to fundraising regulations.

Read What Trustees Need to Know.

The Office for Civil Society (formerly the Office of the Third Sector) is the Government department with responsibility for the Act's implementation.

A copy of the implementation plan under the direction of the Office of the Third Sector is available on the Cabinet Office archive website.

Find out more about the implementation of the Charities Act 2006.

Charity Commission

The Charites Act 2006 provides for an expanded role for the Charity Commission. It modernises the its functions and powers as regulator, increases its accountability, and makes it responsible for a regime governing fundraising public collections.

Find out more about the Charity Commission's role under the Charities Act 2006.