ICFO International Standards

Key areas of charitable activity

Standard & Monitoring of Charities

Being monitored and recommended by the national ICFO Member enhances a fundraising organization’s potential by obtaining the additional trust which follows adherence to the ICFO member’s standards.

Standard 1: Membership and Responsibilities of the Governing Body

  • The Governing body should consist of at least five people
  • Persons serving on the Governing body should: not receive remuneration for their service as Board members, be independent and act in the best interests of the body, attend meetings regularly

Standard 2: Public Benefit Goals

  • There should be a clear and consistent statement of the mission and aims of the organization in all public reports and fundraising materials
  • Activities must be directed towards the attainment of the organization’s stated public benefit goals

Standard 3: Financial Responsibilities

  • Annual accounts must be prepared, and audited by independent, professionally qualified auditors
  • Expenses should be commensurate with the size and scale of activities of the organization and accord with the ethical ethos of public benefit bodies

Standard 4: Fundraising Practices

  • Fundraising practices should be truthful, accurate and not misleading
  • Fundraising costs should be limited to a reasonable proportion of the organization’s overall expenditure and regularly tested for cost-effectiveness

Standard 5: Public Information

  • Information about the organization’s activities and results should be regularly prepared and made freely available to the public
  • Information should be comprehensive and presented in easily understood formats
  • Explanatory narrative information should be provided to assist understanding of the financial information and to enable appropriate comparisons to be made

Good to Know

Charities which are monitored by a member of ICFO are bound to follow the guidelines given in accordance with the respective national law and culture. This may include principles for

  • public benefit goals
  • ethical guidelines for fundraising
  • corporate governance
  • accounting rules
  • transparency
  • accountability regarding their activities

All ICFO members carry out independent evaluation of charities in their countries. The monitoring process covers the key areas of charitable activity, such as the  ICFO International Standards.