disability and also encompass mental health. Veterans suffering from, for example, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder are vulnerable and charities which exist to help them need to recognise this and have policies and procedures in place to protect them. These will include safer recruitment, Disclosure and Barring Service checks, safeguarding training and the implementation of reporting and monitoring systems.
Fundraising is an increasingly regulated area, with existing regulations strengthened by the introduction of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016. Charity fundraising needs to be controlled, monitored and properly overseen by trustees, who are expected to ensure that suitable systems are developed to help them exercise their oversight. The consequences of getting it wrong include reputational damage, from which it can be difficult to recover. The Code of Fundraising Practice, which is overseen by the Fundraising Regulator, sets out the standards expected of charitable fundraising organisations across the UK. Specific requirements apply where a charity engages with a professional fundraiser or a commercial partner, including the need to have in place a written agreement between the charity and the professional fundraiser or commercial partner and the contents of such agreement must be legally compliant.
Extensive guidance on these areas is available from the Charity Commission and the Fundraising Regulator, as well as through legal support, and the principles of good governance are espoused in the newly revised Charity Governance Code. Prospective donors are always encouraged to conduct due diligence on charities they plan to support by reviewing their entries on the Charity Commission’s website, including their annual reports and accounts. Cobseo – the Confederation of Service Charities – is working with the Charity Commission to address issues identified in military charities to ensure that this sector can continue its vital work to support the Armed Forces family effectively, safely and with public confidence.
This article was produced by Charities partner Jayne Adams.