Fundraising Regulator's Advice Note for charities on fundraising events in light of covid-19
Potential Event Cancellations
With advice changing on a daily basis, charities need to keep up-to-date with any government, World Health Organisation and NHS advice and guidance. All charities should definitely now be thinking about what they will do if their fundraising event needs to be cancelled or postponed.
The key points are as follows-
- Make sure you have a way of contacting participants, volunteers and spectators to be certain they are aware of any changes to your event. Keep your databases and communications channels up-to-date so that you can contact people, and broadcast more widely, such as through social media as appropriate.
- If your event is cancelled you may need to refund donations made to it. Whether or not you need to will depend on the conditions under which the donation was made.
- If the donations have already reached your charity, you may need permission from the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland to issue a refund. You can find out more in Section 2.3 of the Code of Fundraising Practice.
- Section 11 (Events) of the code includes a section on event cancellation and contingency plans, including the possibility of refunding donations.
- If your event is postponed instead of cancelled, you should be clear with participants about the new arrangements.
- If your charity receives donations via online fundraising platforms, you should review their terms and conditions to establish what donors were told about refunds at the time of donating and what expectations they have set. You can read JustGiving’s advice here.
- If events do go ahead, it is essential that you put in measures that meet current government advice for organisations on preventing the spread of the virus. There is further advice from NICVA, NCVO and the Institute of Fundraising.
- If you need to cancel overseas events, you’ll need to know where you stand if you have paid up front for trips. Section 11.11 of the code sets out the key considerations, and make sure you keep in touch with the company organising challenge events on your behalf.
- You should also review insurance policies you have for your events to make sure that, aside from the appropriate levels of insurance on the day, you have cover in the event of cancellation or postponement.
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