Charity Digital - When Charities should Reject Donations, July 2022

Newscaster Charity Digital explore the value-based reasons of when charities can choose to reject donations, and how to go about it.

In light of some high-profile scandals reported in the news, when it comes to accepting certain donations Charities and Trustees have been left wondering how to do the right thing.

Trustees will always do everything they can to make sure the money they receive does not come from a source that might compromise the charity’s reputation, its independence, the way it does its work, or its trust.

A responsible Trustee will look at how others have managed difficult decisions in the past, and this would be in consideration of the ethical consequence of taking money connected to tainted or suspect commercial brands.

Should a group who work to help people give up smoking accept a donation from a tobacco company, or a children’s charity accept monies from a firm whose main source of income is from fossil fuel?

Even donations from gala events or fundraising dinners come into question because its purpose falls far off the mark in terms of what is acceptable by today’s standards.

The days are long gone where fundraisers are chasing large corporate companies for that big, fat cheque because charities are conscious that they owe it to the people who need their help.

But it will always be difficult for that charity to weigh up concerns about where the donation came from or how the funds were raised, against the financial impact of turning that money down.

Granted, charities will never be able to guard against every future event, and it is only when time passes that the problems surrounding a given source of funding can come to light.

So, what steps can a charity take to make sure that they have a robust way to consider future donations and the conditions attaching to them?

National newscaster Charity Digital address this in their guide about the legal and moral reasons of charities accepting donations which explores the pressure to accept much needed funds.

It also explores where charities are duty-bound to make sure donations from suspect sources are refused or monies already given are returned (especially if the donation places unreasonable restrictions on the charity.)

To read the guide, visit the Charity Digital website.