Policy on Fundraising

The Rama Foundation
FUNDRAISING POLICY and ACCOUNTABILITY OF FUNDS

The Rama Foundation Trustees have a legal obligation to ensure proper financial management and in principle become personally liable if the Charity loses money as a result of mistakes, etc. The Trustees are responsible for ensuring that:
Fundraising is properly carried out
Expenditure is properly validated
All funds are raised properly and accounted for
The funds raised are used for the purpose for which they are raised

1.1 Introduction and Scope

The work of the Rama Foundation (RF) has attracted many interested volunteers who have made commitments to the work in RF’s selected projects located in India. The relationship between the trustees and volunteers is one that is built on trust and mutual respect. It is important to mention that RF has stressed on full accountability and transparency from the Indian organisations, etc that it is working with. While rightly demanding this from such organisation/s often working under tremendous financial constraints at the grass-roots in India, it becomes critical for all of us in the UK to work to the same standards. This policy is intended to provide the Trustees, fundraisers and supporters with principles and guidelines for raising / spending money from all sources with full accountability, transparency and effectiveness.

1.2 Purpose

The aim of this is to clarify the reason for fundraising and to detail practices adopted to ensure RF is exposed to minimum risk, is accountable to funders and meets the needs of the beneficiary identified for RF’s focused contribution. RF prime focus is on ‘empowerment’ of disadvantaged people through practical help. Our ethos is learning from each other, sharing skills and working together to make a difference. Funds are mainly to support these efforts and in response to the identified need/s. Successful and appropriate fundraising is a key element in the sustainability, affordability and continued success of RF’s current and future activities.

1.3 Statement

All fund raisers shall ensure that:
They always act with fairness, honesty, integrity and openness
Comply in all their activities with RF’s aims and purposes, practices and applicable laws and regulations
They hold themselves accountable to those from whom funds are received
They do not use messages or illustrations that make use of human misery or in any way compromise the dignity of any human being
They do not exploit their position for personal gain
Publicity and promotional activities are to be truthful and non-deceptive
All fundraising activities are to be approved by the CEO or Board of Trustees
All printed materials used for fundraising must be reviewed and approved prior to being published to generate funds or promote an event
The CEO or the appointed individual or party must be fully aware of the event
The RF shall have full access to the revenue / expenses of the event
All funds raised must be first deposited into RF’s bank account and only when expenses (supported by receipts) are provided, then reimbursements will be made – this will be done via a RF cheque co-signed by two Trustees
Organisers of fund raising events will ensure that adequate risk assessments are carried out prior to the event taking place and be totally responsible for all health and safety issues. RF will not be held liable for any claims
Donors have the right to obtain information on how their funds are used
Every Pound raised will be used for the purpose for which it is raised
No cold calling or door to door solicitation of the public is allowed
Any person having any concerns regarding the undertaking of the above items must report them immediately to the Chair of the Trustees.

1.4 Expenses during Placements in Projects / Visits to India

If our Volunteers make minor expenditures towards our beneficiaries during their visits, they can claim reimbursement for them on return (any larger or recurring expenditure must be refereed to Chair of Trustees for prior approval). When recommendations have been made for any major expenditures to RF at end of the visit, every effort is made to put this into action as soon as possible if such contribution is considered appropriate and within the finances available. Decisions for major expenditures are taken by RF after taking into account local knowledge of the identified need and being sure that it is not already being funded by others. It is also important to understand that RF emphasis is on viability and sustainability of such support. For any large expenditure, volunteers must get prior approval.
As an example, most improvements done at Divya Prem Sewa Mission (DPSM) have been done on our volunteers’ recommendations which we are so grateful for. In this case, only careful management of funds and expenditure by RF has enabled us to transform some of the provisions in the hostel and school. This careful spending and investment in the long term benefit of our ultimate beneficiaries has been only possible due to the background knowledge and relationships that RF has built in India which have enabled economical spending. This would not be possible if funds, raised by volunteers, were always spent liberally and quickly by them during their visit. It is also desirable that all our volunteers seek local help from this network of RF supporters to get best deals on goods and / or services.

1.5 Responsibilities

This Policy is applicable to all individuals who raise funds from private, corporate, public or other sources directly for RF efforts or for its beneficiaries. RF thanks those who have helped in drafting this Policy and Agreement. We propose to undertake regular reviews (timing to be decided).

Policy approved by the Trustees in July 2011