Fundraising risks and how to address them

16 April 2019

Fundraising encourages charities to be creative and stand out for all the right reasons.

Charity jar filled with coins

Managing fundraising activities

Fundraising activities should be managed appropriately according to the level of risk. They should be planned and thorough risk assessments should be conducted to identify and manage any new risks.

Fundraising risk assessments

  • Risk management is especially important when exploring new fundraising methods. Ensure you carry out regular risk assessments and keep a record. Accurate and timely records can be used to defend legal action brought against you.
  • Regular risk assessments will help identify risks that have not previously been acknowledged and ensure that appropriate controls are in place to help manage those risks.
  • Keep a record of your significant findings; the hazards, the impact of an incident and the controls you have in place to reduce the risk. Any records produced should be simple and focused on controls.
  • Encourage staff and volunteers to advise you of new risks as soon as they are aware and make sure you address them immediately.

Build strong partnerships with trusted firms

When fundraising involves more hazardous activities, such as obstacle course races and extreme challenges, engage with competent third parties who have experience and their own insurance in place.

  • Analyse both the physical and reputational risks involved.
  • It is the charity’s responsibility to ensure appropriate sub-contractors are used. Ensure that anyone acting on your behalf is suitable. If you use the services of contractors, they should be able to perform the tasks asked of them.
  • Carry out appropriate due diligence before you agree to work with the third party. Have suitable contracts in place and ask to see their insurance certificate.
  • Third parties should have their own public liability insurance cover, check for adequate limits of indemnity at least as high as the insurance cover your own charity insurance covers.

Managing fundraising employees and volunteers

  • Whether your workforce is full or part-time, employees or volunteers, you need to be confident that everyone working for you fully understands their roles and responsibilities.
  • These should be fully documented and clearly communicated to everyone to ensure they know what’s expected of them and what falls within their remit.
  • Volunteers may not see themselves as having formal responsibilities for the charity but the performance of their duties should be conducted and monitored in the same way as any paid member of staff.