The Difficulty of Refusing Donations

It’s never easy for any charity to turn down or return donations, particularly at the moment when many charities are struggling to raise money and need to be more creative in fundraising. The decision is rarely straightforward and it’s important not to lose sight of the situations where you can (and in some cases should) refuse a donation.

Charities are of course obliged to accept donations and they should only refuse or return them in exceptional circumstances

In some situations it’s clear a donation should be refused, for example where significant ‘red flags’ are found during due diligence checks on a donor, where a donor lacks capacity, or where donor conditions are too onerous or unlawful. However, outside these more straightforward scenarios are more difficult situations where a donation carries a concern about potential reputational or other damage to a charity. Read on