Keeping fundraising safe

What you need to do to help keep fundraising safe.

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is the approach, or actions taken, in order to protect people from potential harm.

Keeping people safe is vital for every fundraising organisation. Regardless of the core focus of your charitable mission or objective, the Charity Commission’s safeguarding strategy underlines that safeguarding is always a priority. 

For fundraising, this means thinking about what reasonable steps could be taken to safeguard employees, volunteers, beneficiaries and supporters. If your organisation works with children, young people or adults in vulnerable circumstances, you will likely have more rigorous safeguarding requirements than others and there are some specific rules and standards within the Code of Fundraising Practice for doing so. 

When it comes to safeguarding, nobody can afford to turn a blind eye. We all have a duty to consider how we can help protect those we come into contact with. This is not only about protecting those at risk of harm and abuse, but promoting a positive, supportive and accountable culture that nurtures the general health, safety and wellbeing of all those we work with.” Peter Lewis, Chief Executive of the Institute of Fundraising 

Although it is critical that all trustees, employees and volunteers seek to protect beneficiaries, this mini guide focuses on safeguarding in relation to fundraising, rather than charity’s interaction with beneficiaries. 



Safeguarding will mean something different to each and every charity, depending on the different audiences you work with, the focus of your work, who you work with and how you fundraise. This is a short summary of the key questions you many need to consider to keep your fundraising safe:

Questions to consider:

• Who does your charity typically come into contact with, including employees, volunteers, beneficiaries and supporters and does this include any ‘at risk’ groups (i.e. children, the elderly and/or potentially vulnerable people)?
• What are the risks of harm for anyone that comes into contact with your charity?
• How serious and how likely are those issues to arise?
• What can you do to limit those risks and help keep people safe?
• Who is responsible for safeguarding within the organisation and at trustee level?
• How will safeguarding be integrated into the ongoing running of your charity, including your recruitment strategies, training and induction processes and organisational policies?
• How can you ensure that all staff, volunteers and third parties understand your approach to safeguarding and their role within that?
• What guidelines, training and support can you give them?
• Do you need a formal safeguarding policy and process?
• How will safeguarding issues be investigated and/or reported?
• How often will safeguarding be reviewed and what can be done to keep it front of mind?
• How will you communicate your approach to safeguarding to supporters, beneficiaries, funders, partners and stakeholders?

This section includes:


sublanding Assessing risk
Safeguarding in fundraising requires a thorough but proportionate approach to risk
sublanding Making safeguarding an organisational priority
We believe that every fundraising organisation should offer a safe and supportive working environment
sublanding Recruiting and training fundraisers and volunteers
Safeguarding starts before potential fundraisers (paid or voluntary) are recruited
sublanding Protecting supporters
Good fundraising means always treating people fairly
sublanding Responding to safeguarding incidents
Everyone has a duty to look out for the safety and well-being of those around them
sublanding Fundraising activities requiring closer safeguarding
There are certain areas that will inevitably need greater consideration for safeguarding