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When should a Charity refuse a donation?

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Donations are the lifeblood of nearly all charities. However, a small minority of charitable donations do still carry risk. 

Trustees should always think carefully about what is in the best interests of their charity when accepting donations. A starting point is to consider whether accepting money will be more detrimental to the charity than rejecting it.

There will be times when a charity needs to consider whether it is in its best interests to refuse a particular donation, for example, if it might adversely affect upon public trust and confidence in the charity or conflict with certain aims of the charity.

Donations Acceptance Policy

Charities need to put in place policies that will help to ensure they have a robust decision-making process when it comes to donations. A donations policy can support Trustees, by providing a framework for decision-making when it comes to accepting donations.

Where there is uncertainty relating to a donation, Trustees may seek legal advice and/or contact the Charity Commission for guidance.

Further reading

The Charity Commission has published its own blog: “Thanks but no thanks”.

The Institute of Fundraising has published its own guidance: “Acceptance, Refusal & Return – A Practical Guide to Dealing with Donations“.

Loosemores is ranked Tier 2 for Charities & Not-for-profit in Wales by The Legal 500 and our Charity team lead, Rebecca McCarthy, is recognised as a ‘Rising Star’ for Charities & Not-for-profit in Wales.

If you need any specialist advice from our team of legal experts, call us on 02920 224433 or contact Rebecca via McCarthyR@loosemores.co.uk.

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