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Charities might have to cancel events despite government advice, warns regulator

13 Mar 2020 News

Charities might need to cancel some fundraising events despite the government's official position, the Fundraising Regulator said in new advice today.

This might be the case in special circumstances, for example if the events involve people who are vulnerable to the disease, or if they require international travel.

For now government advice is that mass participation events do not need to be cancelled.

Charities advised to plan for events cancellation

The Fundraising Regulator advises all charities to make plans in case government advice changes, in line previous guidance from the Institute of Fundraising and NCVO.

The document published by the regulator says that “all charities should now be thinking about what they will do if their fundraising event needs to be cancelled or postponed”.

It also says: “Decisions will depend on your personal circumstances, for example if your event includes people who are more vulnerable to Covid-19 or if the event involves international travel. In these circumstances, you might need to consider cancellation regardless of government advice on mass participation events.”

Finally, it reminds charities that cancelling events might mean refunding donations, advises on how to do it and suggests reviewing organisations’ insurance policies.

The full document can be read on the regulator’s website.

Mass events to proceed for now

Yesterday, Boris Johnson said in a press conference that for now mass participation events will go ahead as planned.

He said: “We are considering the question of banning major public events such as sporting fixtures. 

“The scientific advice, as we’ve said over the last couple of weeks, is that banning such events will have little effect on the spread.”

Scotland has decided to ban events that involve more than 500 people from Monday.

A number of mass participation events are planned over the next few weeks in the UK, including the London Marathon, which is scheduled for 26 April and last year brought some 42,000 runners and 800,000 spectators to the streets of London.

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