A month in fundraising: 5 things you need to know

A month in fundraising: 5 things you need to know

Felicity Spencer-Smith | 12 February 2020

Felicity Spencer-Smith, Senior External Affairs Officer at the Institute of Fundraising, looks at five stories you need to know about this month – and one thing you need to do – as well as giving an insight into what the IoF has coming up soon.

1. Budget 2020

The next Budget will be announced on 11 March this year. Ahead of this, we have completed our own submission and will update members on what the announcements will mean for fundraising. Our Head of Policy and External Affairs explains in the tweet below what our key asks are:


2. Charities crowd affluent areas instead of where they are needed, says think tank

New research by New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) has found that charitable wealth and resources – including volunteers, philanthropic donations and council grants – is disproportionately clustered in England’s richest areas, at the expense of the country’s most deprived communities. NPC argues that reforming or swapping Gift Aid for a grants-based system might be one way of addressing the problem.

3. The new Direct Marketing Code of Practice

Direct marketing is getting its first code of practice – a legal rulebook from the ICO that brings statutory status to the sector. The current version of the code is just a draft that is under consultation until 4 March. We’ve summed up the five key things fundraisers need to know.

4. Momentum growing on climate and fundraising

In the past month we’ve seen a surge of activity from the fundraising community to challenge and tackle the climate emergency.

More than 30 grant-makers have now committed to tackling climate change in their work. Back in November, 14 funders announced that they had signed up to the Funder Commitment on Climate Change. Since then, more organisations have joined their voices to the pledge which commits them to examining how they can use their investments, operations and funding programmes to contribute to a post-carbon economy.

Stepping away from fossil fuels. The board of Comic Relief has banned investments in fossil fuels as part of a new ethical investment policy, the charity’s 2018/19 accounts show. Speaking to Third Sector, Mark Wildig, Director of Finance at Comic Relief, said: “The trustees felt the time was right to make a positive statement about not actually making any investment in fossil fuel companies.”

Charity Commission urges charities to invest ethically. The Commission is moving to promote ethical investment by charities to ensure funds are not used to support businesses that conflict with their own aims or those of their supporters.

And if you missed the IoF’s Events Conference last week, you also missed out on the fantastic climate focused fundraising sessions. Take a look at this blog from panellist Kenneth Foreman, which looks at some of the issues he discussed.


5. Government launches charity safeguarding portal

The government has launched a safeguarding portal, which curates information about how to handle safeguarding allegations in a charity. The portal links to guidance from NSPCC, NCVO, Bond, and the Charity Commission, among others. It also includes a tool to help people work out where to go for more support or who to report an incident to.

And one thing you need to do

Set aside 5 minutes to take part in our member survey on the environment and sustainability in fundraising. The purpose of this is to get an idea of where fundraisers and charities as a whole are in thinking about the climate emergency and their role in tackling it.


On 4th March, ahead of International Women’s Day, we’re excited to be launching an important piece of research on women in fundraising leadership, informed by over 700 responses to our survey and focus groups around the country.

And as the New Year rush of job adverts begins to die down, we are busy working on the Fundraising EDI Recruitment Toolkit to support you to recruit better. It will be launched at the beginning of April, ready for the post-Easter springtime surge.

Keep up-to-date with all of this work by signing up to the #ChangeCollective newsletter.

Felicity Spencer-Smith, Senior External Affairs Officer at the Institute of Fundraising

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