How to Manage Group Finances

* Please note that mileage is 45p per mile when claiming travel expenses


Each IoF Group should submit a Quarterly return of income and expenditure to central office, using the Quarterly Returns Workbook.

These should be completed and returned to the IoF Finance Officer by 15th of January, April, July and October. 

All Groups holding bank accounts and carrying out transactions are required to file a financial return in compliance with that timetable to enable the Institute to file VAT returns on time. If this information is late the Institute may incur financial penalties so please do let us know if you anticipate any issues in returning these forms on time. 

The spreadsheet has the following sections:

Breakdown of all the period’s income and expenditure including any VAT figures shown separately

Bank, Treasurer and Chair contact details. (Any changes in contact details must be immediately notified to the Institute via the Membership Communities Manager). 

Expenses (this must be recorded separately as some may be excluded from the VAT return)

If these procedures are followed, it should not be necessary for IoF Groups to have their accounts audited locally. The auditors review the Group returns annually and may request further details so please do keep valid receipts and records for transactions. 

Authorisation levels on cheques and payments:

Under £100 – IoF Group Treasurer’s signature and an email trail of authorisation from the Chair

£100-£1,000 – Two authorised Committee members’ signatures

Over £1,000 – One Committee member’s signature, plus one of Chief Executive, Executive management Board, or Trustee signature

Procurements, contracts and commitments

The rules for procurement are the same as for expenditure.

No Group or branch may commit the Institute to a level of expenditure beyond £1,000 (£3,000 for Scotland) without the agreement of the Chief Executive/Chief Operating Officer or a Trustee. The Chief Executive/Chief Operating Officer must see all contracts that commit to expenditure over these amounts in enough time for proper consideration to the risks and liabilities. This is normally one working week to allow for appropriate legal advice where necessary.

Year end procedures

The final quarterly return needs to be submitted by the required date whether they have been signed off by the Group committee, or not. These returns are required by charity law for inclusion in the IoF’s audited annual financial accounts.

A copy of the forthcoming financial year’s budget should be provided in January alongside the activities plan.

Payment to attend events

In exceptional and occasional circumstances, central office has the facility to take credit card bookings for a delegate attending an IoF Group event and then issue a cheque back to the IoF Group for the payment. The Institute is charged per financial transaction so please charge an additional £3 for anyone who insists on paying by credit card.

Booking forms/invoices/purchase orders/receipts

All booking forms, invoices, purchase orders and receipts should carry the following information in small print in footer:

'The Institute of Fundraising is the professional membership body for fundraisers, working to promote the highest standards in fundraising practice and management.  The Institute’s mission is to support fundraisers, through leadership, representation, standards setting and education, to deliver excellent fundraising.  The Institute is a charity registered in England and Wales (No 1079573) and Scotland (No SC038971), and a company limited by guarantee (No 3870883). VAT registration number 547 8930 96.'

Centrally produced master copies can be produced for ease of use.

A guide to VAT

VAT on income:

Standard rated:

  • Fees for social meetings ***
  • Sponsorship
  • Exhibitors
  • Table sales
  • Awards
  • Parties
  • Advertising for individuals and non-charitable organisations
  • Annual dinner (London)/social events
  • Membership subscriptions admin fees
  • Licence fee
  • Consultancy services
  • RAC – element
  • Income generated from providing online services (electronic newsletters etc)
  • Selling of merchandise at promotional events
  • Direct marketing (including online marketing)
  • Telesales.


Zero rated:

  • All forms of advertising for registered charities  including promulgation of an advert (e.g. design fees). This includes job adverts.
  • Printed material.



  • Fees for business meetings***
  • Workshops and conferences (education)
  • Delegate fees
  • Vocational training (education)
  • Research
  • Subscription to public interest body – ex element of membership subscriptions.


*** Meetings.  A meeting concerning the passing and exchange of fundraising knowledge is exempt even if there is a social component added. A gathering for principally social reasons (e.g. a Christmas meal) is standard rated.

Not Applicable:

  • Donations, grants, legacies bank interest etc.


VAT on expenditure

Only VAT-able expenditure directly attributable to standard/zero rated income can be reclaimed, i.e. social meetings, sponsorship, advertising, and annual dinners/social events.

For example, no VAT incurred on costs can be recovered on a group conference if the income only comprises of delegate income (as delegate income is an exempt supply as stated above).  However, VAT can be recovered on costs of a Group conference if the income comprises of sponsorship income (as sponsorship income is a standard rated supply as stated above).

All other VAT-able expenditure relating to exempt supplies cannot be reclaimed. A proportion of sundry office running costs cannot be reclaimed, as the IoF is partially exempt.


Volunteer Expenses

Reasonable out of pocket expenses are repaid only when pre-agreed with the Membership Communities Manager for expenditure incurred by volunteers attending meetings or events organised by IoF. 

Volunteers should send the Volunteer Expenses Claim Form to the Membership Communities Manager- Please ensure the below checklist is included when claiming expenses:

  • All receipts
  • Chair and Treasurer written approval- via email
  • Email chain concerning any agreed expenses


For out of pocket expenditure incurred whilst acting on behalf of an IoF Group, claims should be submitted using the Volunteer Expenses Claim Form (or relevant Group template).  These expenses are authorised by the IoF Group Chair and repaid by the Treasurer when presented with appropriate receipts.

Please do ensure that any expenses claims are with Kate Davis by COP each Tuesday to be included in the week’s payment run.

For travel and hotels please book in advance where possible and use the most appropriate form of travel. Only reasonable expenses will be covered, these exclude:

  • First Class Travel
  • Travel by taxi when other options are available
  • Alcohol for personal consumption
  • Excessive hotel prices- these will be reviewed on a case by case basis
  • Additional expenditure that was not previously agreed by the Membership Communities Manager


For any queries concerning limitations on expenditure please contact the Membership Communities Manager-