Fundraising forms a core activity for many charities. Funds are raised from the public and most charities have fundraising activities planned all year round. In any fundraising activity, accountability to the donors, stewardship of the funds and use of funds for the purposes defined are key areas scrutinised by the public. Charities should take a moment and consider if their current practices are robust and well-structured to enable them to safeguard the funds raised, accurately report on regulatory requirements and ultimately, portray a good public image to donors whilst, protecting the Charity’s reputation. An independent review on the fundraising activity would help the Charity to address some of these concerns.
What is a fundraising review?
A fundraising review is an independent and objective review of the Charity’s fundraising practices on whether proper procedures are observed in soliciting the funds and whether the publicity material are accurate and portray sufficient information to donors on the purpose of the donations and how the funds will be utilised. A fundraising review also helps the Charity to review whether its processes adequately safeguard the funds collected and whether these are used for the intended purposes.
What are the benefits of a fundraising review?
A fundraising review will yield some of these benefits:
- The review of the internal process will identify control gaps in the current processes, with practicable recommendations to improve overall governance and control over the fundraising process.
- The Charity would portray a positive image to the public on the commitment towards better governance and internal controls.
- Donors would be assured that the Charity is committed to ensure that the funds raised are properly governed and used in the purposes for which it was raised.
- Facilitate greater compliance to laws and regulations imposed by the authorities. Any non-compliance, be it minor or major, can lead to reputational loss, reduced public confidence and possible penalties imposed by the authorities.
Finally, a Charity may also ask if a fundraising review means more work for the staff? With a lean manpower structure, more paper work and processes may cause the staff to feel frustrated and thus resulting in turnovers. Inevitably, a fundraising review may result in the Charity having to put in additional resources or controls. However, it also portrays a positive image to external stakeholders that the Charity is committed to doing things right and ensuring that the funds received are put into good causes. Ultimately, donors are reassured that the funds donated are used for the good of the beneficiaries.
About the Author: Angela Tan
Angela Tan is an Assistant Manager at SSC. She has more than 9 years of experience in internal audit for the marine manufacturing industries and non-profit organisation. She was also involved in the post implementation review of Enterprise Resource Planning Systems. Angela graduated from the Singapore Institute of Management majoring in Accounting and Finance. She is a Chartered Accountant (Singapore).