Fundraising Policy

National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS)                                                                            Fundraising Policy – August 2023

Responsibility of Trustees 
Date of document 31/08/23
Document Manager Director of Fundraising & Marketing 
Review date September 2024

1. Purpose of the Policy 

  • The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) is a registered charity which relies on income from fundraising to deliver services to its beneficiaries. NRAS delivers services in line with its charitable aim to inform, empower and support all those in the UK living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). 
  • NRAS is a member of the Fundraising Regulator and agrees to only conduct fundraising which is in line with the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Fundraising Practice and works to operate in line with the Fundraising Regulator’s Promise to be open, honest, fair and legal. 
  • This policy sets out how NRAS will work ethically and responsibly within fundraising. All trustees, staff and volunteers who fundraise on behalf of NRAS are responsible for adhering to the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Fundraising Practice, The Charity Commission’s legal framework and the NRAS Fundraising Policy. 

2. Fundraising Standards 

  • NRAS follow the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Fundraising Practice and comply with the key principles embodied in the code. Our membership requires us to make a fundraising promise which means we make a commitment to donors and fundraisers that our fundraising is legal, open, honest and respectful. 
  • You can read the full Code of Fundraising Practice here. 

3. Fundraising and Project Approval 


  • NRAS colleagues, trustees, members, volunteers or individuals outside the organisation should have their fundraising initiatives agreed by a member of the fundraising team before they are undertaken. 
  • NRAS never raises funds for third parties and fundraising activities undertaken using the NRAS registered charity numbers must only be used to help fund the delivery of NRAS services as outlined in our Charity Commission registration. 
  • Use of the NRAS charity numbers for fundraising purposes must always comply with the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Fundraising Practice. 


  • The fundraising team prioritises work to achieve the income target budget approved by the Trustees each year to support the on-going work of the charity. 
  • In order for projects outside the approved annual budget to be part of the fundraising team objectives and KPIs for the year, staff responsible for the project must complete a Project Proposal Form with the Trusts and Giving Manager and submit this to the Senior Management Team (SMT) for approval. Only once the SMT have agreed the project will the fundraising team undertake fundraising for it. 
  • Fundraising for projects to deliver, improve or expand NRAS services which have not been approved by the SMT should not be undertaken under any circumstances. 
  • Project proposals must be agreed at least 12 months prior to the project start date, except in exceptional circumstances. 
  • If changes are made to an agreed project these changes must be presented to the SMT for approval and the fundraising team must be notified immediately. 
  • If an agreed project is cancelled the SMT and fundraising team must be notified immediately. 
  • Contingency plans should be put in place when a project is agreed in case of insufficient funds or if over funding is received. 
  • Each member of the NRAS fundraising team is required to read the Code of Fundraising Practice annually and sign to say they have done so, they should adhere to the code at all times. 
  • NRAS staff must always consult with the fundraising team and have approval from the Head of Fundraising before they undertake any fundraising activities on behalf of the charity. 

4. Use of Donations 

  • NRAS openly reports how donations received have been used and where our funding has come from in our Annual Audited Accounts, our NRAS Annual Review and through direct reporting to individuals and trusts as required. 
  • All funding received by NRAS is assessed to determine whether it is restricted for use toward a project or for a particular aspect of our core charitable services. All expenditure against restricted funding is tracked and disclosed in the Annual Accounts in accordance with reporting requirements. 
  • If a supporter wishes to make a donation to a specific area of work undertaken by NRAS (for example if a parent of a young person with JIA would like their donation to be used to specifically support JIA-at-NRAS services) they should provide a written instruction to this effect with their donation, unless such a donation is under the banner of a specific appeal that NRAS is making such as Wear Purple. Where such a request has been made and it has been determined that it does not constitute restricted funding, the SMT will recommend to the Trustees that it should be classified as designated for use for the project specified by the donor. Expenditure is then tracked against such funds and disclosed in the Annual Accounts in accordance with reporting requirements. 
  • If wishes regarding use of funds are recorded in writing and sent with a donation, but do not reflect the work undertaken by the charity, the donor will always be contacted in writing to explain the situation and seek confirmation that they would like to continue to support NRAS with their donation. (For example, if we receive a donation toward medical research, NRAS will contact the donor to ensure they are happy for their donation to be used toward patient support, or supporting clinical research but not funding such research as NRAS does not conduct or fund medical research). 
  • If a donation is received, which specifically states that funds are to be used for ‘research’ NRAS may notify the donor to explain the nature of the research we undertake or support in line with our charitable objectives. 
  • If funds have been raised for a particular project or for a particular aspect of our core charitable services, but it is no longer needed NRAS may use the funds raised in any purpose it sees fit which is in line with our core services provided that the funder agrees to such re-allocation of the donation. 

5. Corporate support and gifts in kind 

  • Wherever possible, NRAS funding requests are sought from a number of companies and NRAS will negotiate with all its sponsors on an equal basis to ensure no individual company is treated differently from any other in regard to funding of any particular project.
  • NRAS will ensure that total income from pharmaceutical funded projects will not exceed 25% of our total income and does not exceed 10% from any one company in one year.
  • While funding toward specific projects may be received from healthcare, pharmaceutical or other companies NRAS will never endorse products, treatments or services. 

6. Acceptance and Refusal of donations or offers of support 

  • NRAS abides by the law and will decide to accept or refuse donation by considering which action is in the charity’s best overall interest. 
  • NRAS will not accept donations made by donors whose activities are in direct conflict with the best interests of our beneficiaries. 
  • NRAS will not accept donations from or work in partnership with companies or individuals who participate in activities which could cause detriment to the charity’s reputation. 
  • NRAS will not accept donations where funds may have been obtained illegally or unethically. 
  • The ultimate responsibility to accept or decline a donation sits with Board of Trustees. 
  • Many donations received by NRAS are from funders who are already known to the charity, however if NRAS receives a donation or an offer of support which it considers to be suspicious or where it cannot identify the source, the donation or offer of support may be refused. 
  • NRAS will work to ensure that we do not accept donations from individuals who may be considered vulnerable we will, at all times, act in accordance with the Fundraising Regulator’s guidance as it is set out in the Fundraising Code of Practice. 
  • All donations received by NRAS will be logged on Salesforce within one week. 
  • Confirmation of receipt and thanks will be sent for each individual donation received which is not a gift In Memoriam (see below). 
  • For gifts received In Memoriam, all donations will be logged on Salesforce and saved under the name of the deceased. 
  • Donor details will be stored in line with GDPR and the NRAS Privacy Policy. 
  • Occasionally, donors make multiple payments in error and will request a refund of the unintended payment. While NRAS is not legally obliged to refund a donation, the charity can review the circumstances on a case by case basis and make refunds if deemed appropriate, when a genuine error occurs or there is a fault with our on-line payment processing system or in situations where the donor is deemed to be vulnerable as related to their decision making. 
  • If a donor asks to have their donation refunded because they paid it to NRAS in error and intended for the payment to go to a different charity, NRAS will refund the donation, provided such a request is made within a reasonable time period. 
  • If a donor contacts NRAS to say that they would like their whole or part of their donation returned, they do not have a legal right to do this. NRAS does have the legal responsibility to put the donation to use toward its charitable purpose once funds are received so cannot refund a donation where a donor has changed their mind. 
  • NRAS will report to the charity commission any unverified or suspicious donations of over £25,000 made to the charity. 
  • Gift Aid will only be claimed if a Gift Aid declaration has been completed either as a separate document or as part of a collection envelope, which has been returned to the office for filing or without a document if a claim can be made under the small donations scheme. 
  • NRAS will normally not consider making de-minimis or ex-gratia payments to third parties unless in circumstances where access to funds NRAS is legally entitled to is put at risk. 
  • Ex-gratia payment decisions under £1,000 will be delegated to the NRAS Senior Management Team and will not require trustee approval. 

7. Cash Handling 

  • There are times when NRAS or those fundraising on behalf of NRAS will be collecting and handling cash donations. These times are rare and the fundraising team always try to prioritise other methods of payment of payment if possible.
  • If a cash collection takes place, a cash handling plan must be completed in advance and be signed-off by the Director of Fundraising and Marketing. 
  • If cash is kept in the office, it must be locked away at all times. 
  • The total amount of cash kept in the office should not exceed the level covered by the charity’s insurance policy. Cash must be transported in accordance with the charity’s insurance policy. Private transport for cash collections will be organised if sums collected are likely to exceed the sum allowed in the charity’s insurance policy. 
  • Cash collected by or on behalf of NRAS must be counted and witnesses by at least two people and a record of the amount counted should be signed by the counter and countersigned by the second person present. 
  • Community fundraisers can be sent a paying-in slip so that cash can be deposited directly into the NRAS bank account. 
  • Alternatively, cash can be deposited into the fundraiser’s bank account and a BACS transfer undertaken to send funds to the NRAS bank account within five working days from its collection. 
  • Community fundraisers depositing cash into the NRAS bank account should be given cash handling guidelines. 

8. Other related documents: