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 and provide support

To help guarantee the availability of continuing funds to pay for this work, Meningitis Now aims to maintain a broad base of funding sources. The purpose of this policy is to ensure clarity and openness to all our stakeholders.

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;
  6. We will never sell any data to third parties;
  7. We will never give any data to third parties except those delivering activities on our behalf under contract (e.g. mailing). This data will be supplied in accordance with our Data Protection Policy and the third party will only be permitted to use the data for the purpose of delivering their supply contract to us;
  8. We will ensure it is straightforward for anyone to stop all or particular contact with us;
  9. We will ensure our fundraising activities are in line with our Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policies.

Acceptance criteria

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.

The Institute of Fundraising Donation Acceptance and Refusal Guidance states that when deciding whether to accept or reject a donation, careful consideration should be given to the extent to which the charity is likely to be harmed by accepting a donation and this should be balanced against the benefit to be obtained by accepting it. These decisions should be reached on a case by case basis and the charity’s policy should 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 complies with all relevant legislation including money laundering rules, the Bribery Act and Charity Commission guidance, including terrorism and political activity.

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.

Avoidance criteria

Meningitis Now will not knowingly accept financial support or partnerships with organisations that make or sell armaments, manufacture tobacco, exploit children or vulnerable adults or who have committed human rights violations.

There may be other industries and companies where serious issues will need to be considered and for these we adopt a risk management approach. We consider the advantages to our beneficiaries of accepting donations against any possible risk to our ability to continue to be there for our beneficiaries in the longer term.

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 directly market their services to our supporters or beneficiaries and 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 possibly (24 hours) 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.


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.


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.


This Policy will become part of staff induction and we will make the Policy available on our website - download a copy here.


This policy will be reviewed annually by the Funding & Marketing Sub Committee of Trustees.