Fundraising Policy

Meningitis Now’s vision is a future where no one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need to rebuild their lives. To achieve this we undertake research, raise awareness, campaign, provide support and raise funds

To help guarantee the availability of continuing funds to pay for this work, Meningitis Now aims to maintain a broad base of fundraising activities. The purpose of this policy is to ensure clarity and transparency about how we raise our funds.

Responsible Fundraising

We actively seek to work with external organisations and individuals to achieve shared objectives however it is vital that we maintain our independence and do not allow any external partnership to bring the reputation of Meningitis Now into disrepute.

Meningitis Now’s key principles of responsible fundraising are:

  1. We have honest relationships with our donors;
  2. We retain our independence and avoid over reliance on one or more donors;
  3. We have good processes for making decisions about who we accept money from;
  4. We seek to be as cost effective as possible in developing sustainable fundraising income streams;
  5. We will adhere to all Fundraising Regulator Codes of Practice to ensure best practice, transparency and accountability and are governed by part II of the Charities Act 1992.

Acceptance of donations

When deciding whether to accept a donation, the Chief Executive and the Trustees have a duty to demonstrate to the Charity Commission that they have acted in the best interest of the charity, and that association with any particular donor does not compromise Meningitis Now’s position, harm our reputation or put future funding at risk. This applies to all types of donation – cash, donations in kind, shares, legacies, pro bono work and sponsorship.

These decisions should be reached on a case by case basis and the Chartered Institute of Fundraising's Accepting, Refusing and Returning Donations will guide the Trustees and their staff in decision making.

In this regard the main criteria for accepting donations will be whether there are strong grounds for believing that it will result in a net benefit to the people we exist for.

Meningitis Now will not accept funding where the donation:

  • Is known to be directly associated with criminal sources;
  • Would help further a donor’s personal or business objectives which conflict with those of Meningitis Now;
  • Would lead to a net decline in support for Meningitis Now, and so risk a decline in the resources available to fund our work;
  • Will result in personal benefit to the Trustees and staff;
  • Would otherwise significantly damage our reputation.

Working with vaccine manufacturers

To ensure our independence, we will only accept donations from vaccine manufacturers up to the maximum value of 5% of our annual turnover and where we have complete control on how the donation is used. It should be noted that we fund research that is unlikely to be undertaken by vaccine development companies as it at a ‘pre-concept’ stage.

Working with clinical negligence law firms

We receive support from a small number of clinical negligence law firms and work with them on projects of mutual benefit. We do not receive referral fees.

Authorisation levels

The authorisation levels for accepting donations or contracts are given below. They reflect our financial control measures i.e. sign off for expenditure. It is important to note that ultimate responsibility for all decisions, even where the decision making has been delegated to staff, rests with the Trustees.

Fundraising Policy

All prospective supporters will be reviewed and a decision made as to whether to proceed before an approach is made. For unsolicited donations, a decision should be sought as soon as is practically possible and preferably before the donation is banked.

Anonymous donations

Special consideration should be given to all truly anonymous donations (i.e. where we have no idea of the source) and any anonymous donations over £10,000 should be referred directly to the Board of Trustees due to the potential risk of money laundering. Anonymous donations over £25,000 need to be reported to the Charity Commission.

Donations from vulnerable people

Special consideration should be given to donations involving potentially vulnerable donors e.g. accepting money from people with illnesses which may affect their judgement or lead to external control of their money. If this is suspected then the Institute of Fundraising’s Guidance on Accepting Donations from Vulnerable Adults should be followed.

  • Meningitis Now does not endorse or approve products or services of any company.
  • A statement outlining how we will benefit from the sale of items will be included in all promotional materials i.e. a donation of 30p will be made to Meningitis Now from the sale of each product.
  • Only Meningitis Now will have direct access to our database and our beneficiaries.
  • In order to ensure that all of our cause-related promotion reflects our charity’s values any potential initiative will be approved by the CEO.

Complaints

Meningitis Now is registered with the Fundraising Regulator which is the independent regulator of charitable fundraising. As a member we are committed to the highest standards in fundraising. We follow the Institute of Fundraising’s Codes of Fundraising Practice. These codes set the standards for fundraising activity throughout the UK, and we use the Fundraising Regulator’s logo to show that we are following these standards. More information about the scheme is available on the Fundraising Regulator’s website.

Product/Service endorsement

Meningitis Now does not endorse or approve the products or services of any company but does receive donations as a result of the sale of certain items. When this happens, we request a statement outlining how we will benefit from the sale of items is included in all promotional materials. When required, we put in place formal Commercial Participator Agreements. 

Investments

Under Meningitis Now’s Articles of Association the Trustees have the power to invest in such stocks, shares, investments and property in the UK as they see fit.

How we work

Our fundraising activities are developed and overseen by professional fundraisers who are all directly employed by Meningitis Now. All new members of the Fundraising team undertake the Chartered Institute of Fundraising’s Introduction to Fundraising course and many have gone on to take further fundraising qualifications. The team are all familiar with the Fundraising Regulator’s Codes of Practice and they are reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that all of our activities are compliant. 

We have additional measures in place to help us protect vulnerable people including mandatory safeguarding and data protection training and additional guidance and support when working with bereaved families. 

To demonstrate our commitment to best practice in fundraising, Meningitis Now is registered with the Fundraising Regulator and has paid the annual levy since its inception. 

We recognise that much of our fundraising success relies on the enthusiasm and commitment of the many hundreds of volunteers who fundraise in aid of us every year. We have produced a simple guide to help anyone who wants to support us fundraise responsibly. A copy of the guide can be found here.

Complaints

If you would like to make a complaint about a fundraising activity, our Complaints Policy can be found here.

Review

This policy will be reviewed by the CEO and Board Trustees on an annual basis.