Fundraising guidance

Our top tips for raising money effectively while complying with fundraising regulations.

17 Nov 2023

Friends of the Earth is split into 2 different entities – Friends of the Earth Charitable Trust, a registered charity, and Friends of the Earth Limited, a not-for-profit limited company. Both entities are registered with the fundraising regulator and comply with the fundraising code of practice.

Groups should abide by the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Fundraising Practice when raising money, whether this money is meant to fund the group's activities or is intended to be donated to Friends of the Earth.

By Friends of the Earth, we mean Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland (the national office). For the purposes of fundraising, we must draw the distinction between Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Friends of the Earth local action groups.

Please note: during the COVID-19 pandemic it's important to be extra cautious when undertaking fundraising activities. Please make sure to read the Fundraising Regulator's coronavirus guidance.

Top tips for fundraising

Here are some key dos and don’ts to be aware of when fundraising:

Do provide some context to your fundraising activity. Engage members of the public in a conversation about what they value, what matters to them about the environment and social justice and how that relates to your group’s work so they feel inspired and eager to support you.

Do make sure it’s clear to people donating where their money will be going. Let donors know what their money will fund, how it'll help your group and what campaigns their donations will support. If you intend to donate money raised to national Friends of the Earth, make that clear with some signs or by chatting to donors. Include some information about what Friends of the Earth is and how it works (you can find information on our website).

Do ensure you handle donors’ personal details according to our data protection guidelines and in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 (GDPR).

Don't collect money from under 18s.

Do focus on fundraising from members of the public. If you’d like to receive money from an organisation or business, please get in touch and we can help carry out a due diligence assessment.

Do perfect your elevator pitch so you can engage with potential donors in a way that’s concise and engaging for them. It should cover who you are, what you do and how donations will help create an impact.

Do make the most of fundraising activities to connect with people in your community. Make it about more than just money – this is a chance to get people interested in the cause and perhaps welcome them into your group.

Don’t use Friends of the Earth's charity number to receive donations. Friends of the Earth local action groups (with some exceptions) aren't registered charities. If your group is a charity, you can of course use your own charity number.

Don’t pressure anyone to donate.

Don’t take a donation if you know, or have good reason to believe, that a person lacks capacity to make a decision to donate, or is in vulnerable circumstances that mean they may not be able to make an informed decision.

Do use common sense and think about the donor’s reasonable expectations to ensure you avoid complaints.

Don’t encourage a donor to cancel or change an existing donation in favour of a donation to another charitable institution. And don’t unfairly criticise or insult other people or organisations.

Do ask for permission from the owner if you wish to fundraise on private property.

Do pick the right place and time, where there’ll be lots of foot traffic and people aren’t in a rush so they have time to chat about your work and where the money will go.

Fundraising for Friends of the Earth

If you've raised money and would like to donate some to Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you can do so in 1 of 2 ways:

  • Cheques

Bank any cash donations and please only send cheques, not cash, in the post. Make sure the cheques are signed, dated and made payable to Friends of the Earth.

Please include a written note, and include your postal or email address as we’d love to say thank you. Send cheques to: Friends of the Earth, The Printworks, 139 Clapham Road, London SW9 0HP.

  • Credit or debit cards

If you want to make your donation by credit or debit card over the phone, bank your cash donations and then make your donation by calling our Supporter Relations team on 0800 581 051.