Request your free guide to fundraising with commercial partners


04 July 2018

In the current political and economic climate surrounding charity fundraising, many charities, social enterprises and other ‘not for profit’ organisations are increasingly looking at fundraising with commercial partners. However, there are important statutory requirements that must be complied with whenever engaging in an arrangement with a ‘professional fundraiser’ or ‘commercial participator’.

Birketts has published a free guide to help you to understand the statutory requirements, including a helpful flowchart in chapter 9, designed to be a practical tool to assist you to identify when the rules apply and when you might need to seek further advice.

In recent years, we have seen a complete overhaul of the self-regulation of fundraising, including the creation of a new Fundraising Regulator, the introduction of a new Fundraising Preference Service, and a complete review of the Code of Fundraising Practice. More recently, the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has had a significant impact on the way in which charities and other ‘not for profit’ organisations use personal data for fundraising. For most organisations, the changes introduced by GDPR will have dramatically reduced the number of names held on a database for direct marketing purposes. Unsurprisingly, these significant changes have caused many organisations to completely overhaul their own internal processes and procedures in relation to fundraising.

Many fundraisers are increasingly looking for new and innovative ways to raise funds for their organisation. You might be considering engaging professional fundraisers for the first time, in the hope of recruiting new regular donors and collecting personal data in a GDPR compliant way. Or, perhaps you are looking to take advantage of the increasing recognition by businesses of the need to demonstrate corporate social responsibility and to invest in the communities in which they operate.

Working with commercial partners for fundraising has the potential to generate substantial income for your organisation. It also allows you to diversify your income streams, which reduces the organisation’s exposure to risk in the event of the sudden loss of a main source of funding. There is also an increasing awareness of the importance of corporate social responsibility within business, which presents a real opportunity for charities, social enterprises and other ‘not for profit’ organisations. However, scandals such as that surrounding The Presidents Club charity fundraiser serves as a sage reminder of the importance of selecting your corporate partners with care.

There are many ways in which charities, social enterprises and other ‘not for profit’ organisations can work with commercial partners to raise much needed funds. However, there are important reputational, legal and tax considerations that should be taken into account before embarking on any promotional venture.

Although not a substitute for legal advice, our free guide to fundraising with commercial partners explains the key legal considerations in plain English, includes practical tips, and helps you to identify when you might need professional advice.

Our new free guide will be of interest to charities, social enterprises and other ‘not for profit’ organisations that engage in fundraising activities, and any commercial businesses that work with them.

To request a free copy of the guide, please email [email protected] with your postal address. To be kept updated on any future legal developments, please also register and opt in to receive the Charities and Social Enterprise team’s newsletter.

If you would like advice in relation to any of your specific fundraising activities, please get in touch with Liz Brownsell or another member of the Charities and Social Enterprise Team.