Starting a charitable project requires certain legal procedures to be followed, which will ensure that both the project and the public are protected. Laws differ significantly regarding the registering of a new charitable organisation and raising funds for one particular individual or purpose, but in both instances complete transparency is primary.

Openness and honesty

When asking the public to donate to a specific cause, or for the benefit of a single individual, then it is important to inform them of the target figure and of exactly how, when and for what the funds will be used. Any funds raised must then be utilised for the stated purpose. It is just as important to be transparent about what will happen should the target not be reached, or in the event that it is exceeded. Although it is not necessary to register as a charity in this case, regulations still apply and fundraisers should check the Code of Fundraising Practice before commencing. It is likely that a basic constitution document will be required and guidelines to writing this up can be obtained from the Charity Commission.

Responsible Money Management

Two signatories should be involved in opening a bank account, which should be in the name of the specific fund. Banks can offer valuable advice on how funds should be administered and can also assist with a constitution document that is acceptable to all parties involved. Guidelines with regard to accountability and the handling of financial donations are also covered in the Code of Fundraising Practice.

Purposeful Protection

Guidelines and regulations regarding donations to specific causes are set in place to protect both the fundraisers and the public from dishonest practices. The public must have the assurance that their donations will be used for the purpose stated, and fundraisers need to be protected from allegations of dishonesty, or the possibility of fraud or embezzlement occurring. Checking with one of the numerous relevant authorities will avoid any such eventuality.