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Fundraising policy

1. Purpose of this policy

Royal Voluntary Service conducts fundraising activities to meet its charitable objectives. It is vital that in doing so we uphold the highest standards and that our Trustee Board has oversight of our activities.

This policy does not override legal obligations or official guidance provided by regulatory bodies but is complimentary to them. It covers all fundraising activities undertaken by Royal Voluntary Service staff, volunteers and supporters.

2. Trustee Engagement with fundraising

Trustees are required to have oversight and understanding of fundraising undertaken within the charity.

2.1 The full Trustee board will be advised of fundraising activities on a regular basis – at least annually – to ensure there is visibility of fundraising practice and performance.

2.2 The Trustee board may decide to delegate responsibility for more regular reviews of fundraising practice and performance to the Investment and Finance Committee.

3. Adherence to guidance and regulation

Fundraising practice must be in line with regulations and guidance and comply with the Charities Act 2016.

3.1 Our fundraising practice follows the six principles included in The Charity Commission’s guidance; planning effectively, supervising fundraisers, complying with the law, protecting reputation and assets, following recognised standards and being open and accountable.

3.2 The Fundraising Regulator is now responsible for upholding ‘The Code of Fundraising Practice’ and we require all our fundraising to follow this code.

3.3 Our fundraising team must be familiar with the Code of Fundraising Practice and have regular training on the code.

3.4 Up-to-date support and guidance must be provided to those fundraising on our behalf in the wider charity to ensure compliance and safe custodianship of funds raised. Support and oversight provided by the Supporter Engagement Manager.

3.5 The Fundraising Preference Service must be monitored and supported by the Supporter Engagement team so that donor wishes are respected.

3.6 Any lottery and raffle activity must be in line with the Gambling Act 2005 and Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice.

3.7 Reporting to the Gambling Commission on raffle or any lottery to be undertaken by the Individual Giving team.

3.8 Fundraising complaints must be monitored, recorded and reported annually to the Fundraising Regulator by the Supporter Engagement Team. Fundraising Complaints must be responded to promptly and in accordance with our Fundraising Complaints Process with input, if necessary from the Head of Governance.

3.9 Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and data protection compliance to be upheld through regular training of fundraising team, engagement with the Information Governance Manager and adherence to correct use of ‘legitimate interest’ and ‘consent’ as legal basis for data processing and direct marketing. This should follow protocol agreed by Trustees.

3.10 For new fundraising activity to be conducted under ‘Legitimate Interest’ a legitimate interest assessment must be carried out and a balancing test undertaken and recorded.

4. Appropriate fundraising channels and approaches

Fundraising in line with our charity’s values and cognisant of those we support.

4.1 Our fundraising strategy balances risk by operating a range of fundraising streams. This portfolio approach also enables our supporters to give in the way that suits them best.

4.2 We currently operate the following streams; Trusts & Statutory, Lottery, Corporate Partnerships, Individual Giving (including prize-led, regular giving and appeals), Community and Legacy fundraising. New streams will be explored from time to time by the fundraising team and added to the portfolio if they offer a good fit with our objectives and our charity.

4.3 The acquisition of donors in the individual giving area of fundraising is undertaken across a variety of channels including Face-to-Face. We will not undertake ‘door-to-door’ fundraising because it can be perceived as intrusive – particularly by older people.

4.4 Our fundraising materials and approaches must be emotionally engaging and persuasive, but we seek to avoid causing distress and must protect the vulnerable.

4.5 We will approach donors with types of fundraising materials they might reasonably expect to receive and at a frequency judged to be in line with their behaviour.

4.6 Our Regular Giving fundraisers must be trained via our bespoke training module which adopts a very high standard of ethical fundraising in line with our charity’s values.

4.7 Regular Giving fundraisers are trained to identify those who may lack capacity to understand the decision they are taking around making a regular gift and refer for follow-up triage as appropriate.

4.8 To maintain our high standards we will continue to use the services of our psychologist to review materials as required and we will also utilise our ‘fundraising panel’ when we consider new-style materials require further testing. Our ‘fundraising panel’’ is a group of clients and volunteers who we bring together to review our materials. The members of the group are different each time the panel is convened.

4.9 We will not accept a donation if we believe it is unlawful to accept it or if accepting it is to the detriment of the charity’s achievement of its purpose. For example, we would not accept a donation if it could lead to other donors withdrawing support, a loss of volunteers or a future difficulty securing staff. In doing so, we will take into account relevant Charity Commission guidance. The final decision on refusing a donation is taken by the Chief Executive.

4.10 We reserve the right to decline fundraising activities ‘in aid of’ Royal Voluntary Service if the activity is out of line with the charity’s values or presents unacceptable risk to individuals or the charity’s reputation. The final decision on declining fundraising activities is taken by the Director of Communications, Marketing and Fundraising.

4.11 Fundraising suppliers to be selected through Royal Voluntary Service procurement process and managed through regular reviews of performance and on-site checks as appropriate. All supporter- engaging suppliers to state how they comply with The Code of Fundraising Practice, including how they protect vulnerable members of the public in their fundraising practice and all agreements with fundraising suppliers to comply with the relevant provisions of the Code.

5. Delivering high standards of stewardship

Strong stewardship is the foundation of fundraising excellence.

5.1 We will regularly explain to our supporters (donors, funders and legacy pledgers) the difference they are making in appropriate channels through a planned programme of engagement.

5.2 Any enquiries or preferences changes will be handled promptly by our supporter engagement team.

5.3 Our donor database must be well-maintained and all users must be trained before system access is provided. Oversight of our Raiser’s Edge database is managed by the Database Marketing Manager.

5.4 We will look after our donor data in line with ICO regulation and ensure all members of the fundraising team are trained on data protection.

5.5 We will include in our Annual Report and Accounts the statements about our fundraising activity required under the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016

6. Review

We will review this Fundraising Policy annually. Next review due January 2022