The European Center for Not-for-Profit Law, ECNL, has published a set of principles aimed at supporting efforts to create a better environment for fundraising around the world.
Fundraising Principles is a global overview of trends in fundraising regulation and self-regulation, offering principles and recommendations in seven key areas based on international and regional standards and country practices.
Developed by the ECNL and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) with the support of a group of fundraising experts, they are designed to serve as a reference point to promote and facilitate further dialogue between civil society organisations and policy makers.
ECNL suggests using the principles and recommendations for a variety of purposes, including assessing existing or proposed legislation or regulation impacting fundraising, facilitating discussions about how existing laws, regulations, and practices could be improved, and supporting advocacy efforts to create an enabling environment for private giving within and across countries.
The 7 areas:
Fundamental guarantees, with principles and recommendations including states guaranteeing the right for civil society organisations to fundraise for any legitimate non-profit purposes, and to be informed and actively involved in the development, implementation and assessment of laws and policies affecting fundraising.
Fundraising methods, with principles and recommendations including for states to allow and encourage the use of the broadest possible range of fundraising methods, and ensure that any regulations impacting fundraising methods are clear, necessary and proportionate to the interests protected.
Data protection & right to privacy, with principles and recommendations such as ensuring that reporting and disclosure requirements do not violate the right to privacy of civil society organisations (CSOs), their donors and beneficiaries, that the scope of personal data collected and the time it is stored is limited and proportionate to the specific fundraising purpose, and that donors and beneficiaries have the right to access information about their data and ask for removal at any time.
Cross-border fundraising, with principles and recommendations including that states do not impose restrictions or intrusive procedures on the receipt and use of international funding and on the outflow of domestic funding to CSOs abroad, and that CSOs receiving international funding are not stigmatised.
Taxation, with principles and recommendations for states including providing preferential tax treatment and tax exemptions to a broad range of CSOs, providing tax benefits in an impartial and transparent manner, and encouraging philanthropy by providing meaningful tax benefits for donors.
Transparency, accountability and oversight, recommending that any reporting and disclosure requirements are proportionate to the legitimate aim, follow a risk-based approach and are not used to stigmatise CSOs based on their donors, and that any oversight is fair, objective and non-discriminatory and does not jeopardise the independence of CSOs.
Registration, licensing and permission, with principles and recommendations including that states ensure that any authorisation, licensing, or notification requirements for fundraising activities are necessary and are the least intrusive means to achieve the desired objective, and that any authorisation, licensing, or notification requirements for fundraising activities are proportionate.
Commenting on the launch, co-author Eszter Hartay, from ECNL, said:
“Amid the ongoing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the need for philanthropic support and solidarity is bigger than ever. The current situation has also highlighted the importance of supporting philanthropy and the flow of donations. We hope that the Fundraising Principles will empower CSOs and fundraisers to advocate for a more enabling environment for philanthropy across borders.”
Fundraising Principles can be accessed and downloaded from ECNL’s site.