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Vol 9 • Issue 1 • Spring 2010

Le Chéile

PAGE 13

FUNDRAISING

IMPLEMENTATION OF GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR FUNDRAISING IN FULL SWING

Implementation of the Guiding Principles for Fundraising by charities is now in full swing following the launch of a toolkit of resource materials designed to assist at recent seminars in Dublin and Cork. The resource materials were developed by the project implementation group with technical assistance from an experienced fundraiser. The materials were formally launched in Cork on 26 March.

“For donors and potential donors, the Statement offers clarity on what they may expect from the charity, its representatives (whether voluntary or paid) and its management.”

The Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising

was developed following an extensive consultation process with the charity sector undertaken by ICTR during 2006/7 as part of a detailed feasibility study to develop a practical scheme for regulating the operational and administrative aspects of charitable fundraising through non-statutory codes of practice. The initiative was funded by the Department in the context of new provisions on fundraising in the Charities Act 2009, which include the development of non-statutory fundraising codes. The primary objective of the guiding principles for fundraising is to protect the public interest through information,

accountability and a complaints system to resolve individual complaints and disputes. The Act contains a reserve power for the Minister to introduce statutory regulation of charitable fundraising should

the approach through non- statutory codes of practice prove unsuccessful.

The Statement of Guiding

Principles is not intended to be a detailed operational code; rather it presents a set of overarching principles and guidelines for fundraising in Ireland. For charities, these principles and guidance are intended to be of practical use when organising fundraising. For donors and potential donors, the Statement offers clarity on what they may expect from the charity, its representatives (whether voluntary or paid) and its management.

The recently released toolkit of resource materials provides practical assistance to charities in setting up systems for putting the guiding principles for fundraising into practice. The web-based materials can be downloaded from www.ictr.ie and comprise a set of frequently asked questions for fundraisers and for the general public; samples of a donor charter, a disclosure statement and draft public statements; a suggested feedback and complaints procedure; and an overall compliance checklist.

It is intended to develop best practice guidelines on

a number of specific issues raised by charities during discussion at the seminars including, data protection, Garda permits, dealing with cash donations etc. Once finalised these will also be available on the ICTR website. Charities are being given sufficient time to adopt and fully implement the guiding principles as appropriate to their scale of operation before an independent monitoring process is put in place towards the end of the year.

The implementation group is currently working on developing the details of the independent monitoring process to oversee adherence by charities to the guiding principles including the membership criteria and terms of

reference for the monitoring group, which is expected to be in place by the autumn.

Charities will be made aware of the details of the monitoring

process and of when it is due to commence well in advance.

A communications strategy is being planned for later in the year to raise public awareness of the fundraising guidelines and what the general public can expect from charities and from those fundraising on behalf of charities.

If you are involved with a fundraising organisation that has not already done so, now is the time to get started on implementing the Statement

of Guiding Principles for

Fundraising with the assistance of the additional resource materials. If you have any queries regarding the scheme or need clarification on any of the materials please contact ICTR at ictr@ictr.ie or phone 01-400 2100.

Sheila Nordon is Executive Director ICTR (www.ictr.ie)

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