The Fundraising Regulator and Chartered Institute of Fundraising have published new guidance on fundraising in the coronavirus environment, as some lockdown measures have started to ease.
Last Friday the government announced that public fundraising could resume from today, and this guidance is intended to help charities understand how to go about it responsibly.
It states that it is up to individual charities to decide on the appropriateness of fundraising at this time.
Separately, following the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh a period of national mourning has begun, which will conclude on 17 April, and the guidance says “the decision as to whether public fundraising should go ahead in that period is at the discretion of fundraising organisations, taking into account how the public may view such activities”.
'Take into account the needs of people in vulnerable circumstances'
It states that fundraisers must be transparent with the public and others. They should make information available and be able to explain to the public and others the approach to fundraising safely and responsibly as the restrictions lift.
Sufficient measures must be in place to protect the public, fundraisers, staff and volunteers.
They should also take into account the needs of people in vulnerable circumstances or with protected characteristics.
“It is inevitable that fundraisers will come into contact with people who may be in a vulnerable circumstance, or need additional support to make an informed decision. The pandemic may have increased the number of people who are vulnerable and the crisis has had an impact on the nation’s mental health,” the guidance notes.
Train fundraisers on new approaches
The guidance also emphasises that new ways of working will need some time to be communicated. Any training should be delivered virtually, in order to meet government guidelines.
The services provided by charities have come under increasing demand, but undue pressure must not be put on donors.