F5. Our registered charity sends mailing labels to members of the public in our direct mail campaign. Is this an acceptable expense?

F5. Our registered charity sends mailing labels to members of the public in our direct mail campaign. Is this an acceptable expense?


Short answer

Yes. This minor solicitation of support is treated as an acceptable fundraising expense.

Similar promotions for donations must be incidental and are considered minor if:

  • the promotional items were supplied at arm's-length,
  • the promotional items were purchased at a value no more than the retail value, or
  • any associated private benefit was necessary.
Long answer

Any personal or corporate benefit associated with a charity's operations is only acceptable as a minor and incidental by-product of its work. No private benefit should be disproportionate to the public benefit that the charity exists to pursue.

Before purchasing gift incentives or donor premiums, make sure that any private benefit associated with such purchases is minor or incidental.

To qualify as incidental, any personal or corporate benefit would have to be necessary. Consider whether:

  • a supplier is dealing at arm's-length from the charity
  • it can be shown that the gift incentive increases the net amount or number of donations.
More…

Review the general fundraising guidelines.