The main duty of trustees is to advance the purposes of the charity and to always act in the charity’s best interest.
Trustees take ultimate responsibility for the fundraising activities of their charity, even when they have delegated these roles. They are responsible for ensuring the charity is compliant with the law, ensuring agreements with third party fundraisers are in place and that the relevant licenses/permissions are in place. The way charitable institutions and third-party fundraisers ask for support affects people’s trust and confidence in fundraising.
The Code of Practice from the Fundraising Regulator sets out the behaviour expected from all fundraisers. It includes treating people fairly and with respect, explaining your cause in a way which does not mislead people, and being sensitive to people who may be in vulnerable circumstances.
As the regulator of charities in England and Wales, the Charity Commission expects charities that fundraise to do so in a way which protects their charity’s reputation and encourages public trust and confidence in their charity. Trustees face challenges in getting fundraising right and the guidance from the Charity Commission is essential reading to support them in their responsibilities.