Funder Relations

In order to gain and retain public confidence, you must be absolutely clear about who funds you. This can be difficult if donors want anonymity. You must respect requests for anonymity but clarify this in your accounts. In this case, you can expect to have to answer ongoing questions about the identity of the donor(s). To protect your good name further, it is vital that you have proper cash handling procedures, especially if you raise money from the general public.

Never, ever forget to thank donors!

You also have a duty to spend funds wisely. You must use your financial resources to achieve the core aims of your organisation with an appropriately minimum possible spend on administration and fundraising costs. You should ensure, perhaps through discussions with your auditor, that all expenditure is value for money. For larger amounts it is recommended that you apply properly considered purchasing and tendering principles. For example, you may have a purchasing policy of getting three quotes for all expenditure over €1,000. Funders may require you to put out to tender any work to be undertaken by third parties/contractors to prevent racketeering and to ensure transparency.

For example, public bodies have to put out to tender any contracts over €6,300 (including VAT) and it is reasonable that if they fund your organisation to do work, you are required to do the same if you subcontract some of that work.

Never, ever forget to thank donors. Report back to them about how the money was spent, in a manner that is appropriate to each.

In any case, if you receive grants from a foundation, company or statutory agency you will almost certainly be under a contractual obligation to report back in a certain format and at agreed times. Coming into increased usage in some parts of the community and voluntary sector, primarily in healthcare, are service level agreements between the organisation and the state. As these tend to contain more complex expectations of both parties than traditional funding arrangements, organisations should ensure they are confident that they can meet their contractual obligations before entering into such agreements.

Further Resources

Visit our Funding section for fundraising news and guidance articles, as well as for details on how you can access our database of funding schemes for the Irish community and voluntary sector.