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Guidelines for Charitable Organisations Fundraising from the Public

The Guidelines for Charitable Organisations Fundraising from the Public, (the 'Guidelines') issued by the Charities Regulator in September 2017, are intended to assist trustees of a charity to run the charity effectively, avoid difficulties in respect of fundraising activities and comply with their legal duties. The basis for these 'Guidelines' is in the 2008 Statement of Guiding Principles on Charitable Fundraising (the 'Statement'), that was developed by a steering group established in response to the Charities Act 2009 following extensive consultation with industry experts and stakeholders led by the Irish Charities Tax Reform Group (now Charities Institute Ireland) and supported by the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs.

The 'Guidelines' have also benefited from the input of a Consultative Panel on Charitable Fundraising which was set up by the Charities Regulator in 2016 at the request of the Minister for Justice and Equality. Charities Institute Ireland was a member of this Consultative Panel.

Why Charity Trustees should ensure the charities they govern apply the Guidelines?

The Charities Regulator requires that trustees of each registered charity are able to explain and justify their approach to fundraising from the public, particularly if they decide not to follow good practice set out in these 'Guidelines'.

The 'Guidelines' are available to download here

What do these 'Guidelines' mean for charities already signed up to the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising?

If your organisation has previously signed up to the 'Statement' all you need to do is:

  • Familiarise yourselves with the new ‘Guidelines
  • Adapt and revise your documentation and procedures to comply with the ‘Guidelines’. This will involve, at it’s simplest, changing all mentions of the ‘Statement’ and replacing them with references to the new ‘Guidelines’.
  • If you engage a third party to collect donations and personal data on your behalf, you should review the agreements you have with them to ensure that they also understand the ‘Guidelines’ and are compliant with them.
  • You must now host a Data Protection Privacy Policy and a Data Protection Statement on your website. More information can be found on the Data Protection Commissioner’s website
  • You must ensure that your charity’s most recent audited financial report is hosted on your website.
  • If you are a member of Charities Institute Ireland please let us know that you are in full compliance to the 'Guidelines' and Cii will update your information and host your compliance on the Cii website.
  • If you are not currently a member of Charities Institute Ireland then please make sure that all the compliance information displayed on your website is easy to find and access by the public. If you are interested in becoming a member then please click here for more information.

Not previously signed up to the Statement of Guiding Principles but want to demonstrate compliance to the 'Guidelines'?

If you haven't already signed up to the 'Statement' but want to publicly demonstrate compliance to the 'Guidelines' please follow the clear and user friendly steps below. These will guide your charity through the process to facilitate compliance to the 'Guidelines' as outlined by the Charities Regulator.Charities Institute Ireland has developed a series of resources materials that are designed to assist in the implementation of the 'Guidelines' and are available to download here, including our easy to use checklist for your annual reporting.


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