Handling of Cash and Other Donations Guidance

**The Guidance pages are currently being reviewed following the transfer of the Code of Fundraising Practice to the Fundraising Regulator. Please ensure that you have checked the latest version of the Code of Fundraising Practice available.



What does this guidance cover?

This document is intended to outline best practice on the handling of donations for fundraising purposes. Fundraising organisations will be aware that it would be impossible to cover every eventuality here, and therefore this guidance is designed to raise awareness of the areas that need to be considered and the types of controls that can be put in place. Organisations should use these notes as a guide from which to produce their own procedures and requirements.

Donation handling guidance is important for three main reasons:

  • to protect the organisation from fraud, theft or embezzlement
  • to protect staff or volunteers from accusations of dishonesty or the temptation to commit fraud
  • to assure donors that their donations and gifts are used for the purpose for which they were given


The need to handle donations, and particularly cash, arises throughout the fundraising sector and occurs in a number of areas, such as appeals, fundraising events, ticket sales, refreshment sales, programme sales, raffles and trading. These donations can be made in person, over the phone or online. The general guidance given here applies to the handling of donations in all situations. A number of other Institute of Fundraising guidance should be read in conjunction with this one, where appropriate. In particular, see:


This document splits the fundraising activity into the following sections

Preparation and Procedure
Relationships with Stakeholders