ETS: the guidelines for fundraising in the third sector

With news published yesterday June 13 on its website, the Minister of Labor and Social Policies, Andrea Orlando, announces the signing of the decree (click here to view layout) having as its object its adoption Guidelines for raising funds from ETS third sector bodies according to art. 7, paragraph 2, of the Third Sectoral Code (Official Gazette of July 3, 2017, no. 117).

In particular, the guidelines offer third sector entities (ETS) a tool to guide the implementation of fundraising activities and format as a document capable of developing food for thought that can be derived from the collection and elaboration of good practices from public and private bodies involved in fundraising activity.

It is good to clarify, as the Minister’s press release states, that the guidelines are addressed to of all Third Sector Bodies, Regardless:

  • legal form,
  • dimension,
  • Mission,
  • activities
  • classification

and intend to conform their fundraising activities to the principles of truth, transparency and fairness, is expressly mentioned by art. 7 of the Code.

The rule provides that the ETS can carry out its activities fundraising, also in an organized and continuous form, with:

  • invitation to the public
  • either through sale
  • o supply of goods or services of moderate value,
  • using own and third-party resources, including volunteers and employees.

1) ETS fundraising basics 2) ETS fundraising methods: the main techniques

1) Fundraising Basics for ETS

As evidenced by the Guidelines document the basic principles intended to protect

  • donors,
  • the recipients of the donations
  • and ETS itself

are determined by article 7 of the CTS in transparency, truth and correctness.


Transparency aims to give an account of the overall work of the Third Sector Body also through the dissemination of information and accessibility of documentation prepared for fundraising.

In particular, it is virtuous for the ETS to expose donors and other stakeholders (stakeholders), some elements that make up the collection activity:

1) in addition to the entity’s legal representative, an indication of the offices and/or at least one contact person to obtain information about the collection;

2) an indication of the duration of collections and their territorial scope and, if technically possible, the progressive amount of revenue collected;

3) the categories of beneficiaries, private entities or activities of general interest of the SEDE to which the revenues obtained will be allocated;

4) if the collection is carried out for the execution of specific projects, the indication of: a) the objective of the funds to be raised. b) the destination of the collected resources, if the project mentioned cannot be carried out; c) the destination of surpluses, in case the project objective is exceeded. d) the schedule for the execution of the project.

5) indication of the ways in which the donation is made and any tax advantages that the donor may enjoy; Another profile aimed at ensuring transparency is accessibility, understood as the right of the donor and the recipient of the donation to find information about fundraising and receive them if requested.

Donors and recipients of donations are entitled to receive (or have easy access to) complete and comprehensive information about the fundraising initiative. In this sense, the ETS should prepare appropriate methods and tools to respond to requests for information and in any case provide donors, while fulfilling the obligations towards the supervisory authorities, with clear, direct and easily understandable information about using your donation. , for the project for which it is intended and/or for the main activities of the ETS.

For the sake of transparency, the provision of article 46 of the Corporate Governance Code for commercial communications, which has been in effect since May 2, 2018, should also be observed. to “Any message intended to raise public awareness of matters of social interest, including specific ones, or which solicits, directly or indirectly, voluntary contributions of any kind, with the aim of achieving social goals.”.

Based on this rule, the author and the beneficiary of the request and the social objective 9 pursued with it must be notified. Contributors of these messages are free to express their views on the matter, but it must be clear that these are the views of the contributors themselves and not ascertained facts.

This provision also provides that messages must not: take undue advantage of human misery by harming the dignity of the individual, nor resort to shocking reminders that cause undue concern, feelings of fear or serious disturbance. accuse or blame those who do not intend to comply with the appeal; exaggerate the degree or nature of the social problem for which the appeal is addressed; overestimate the concrete or potential value of the contribution to the initiative; ask minors to donate money.”


The ETS is obliged to disseminate information that must be true through the media, applying the provisions on misleading advertising referred to in Article 2, paragraph 1, point b) of Law 145/2007.


Fundraising activity must be guided by principles of justice.

Therefore, ETS is required to behave with faith and honesty towards both the donor and the recipient of the donation.

In particular, respect for private life must be ensured for the donor and the beneficiary, especially with regard to the processing of personal data in accordance with the provisions of article 13 of the N.D. lgs. n. 196/2003 and by the European Privacy Regulation, GDPR 2016/679.

In communication and fundraising activities, the use of information that suggests or harms the dignity and worth of natural persons who benefit from the proceeds of fundraising must be avoided.

ETS must not engage in discrimination against recipients, partners, volunteers and donors. In accordance with the fundamental principles of equality and non-discrimination enshrined in the Constitutional Charter, discrimination based on sex, race, ideology and religious beliefs is not permitted, unless the special preference given to certain categories of recipients, as well as the identification of particular characteristics of partners , are fully operational in pursuit of the mission.

Download the UNIQUE PUBLIC CASE Customizable Word Template here drawn up pursuant to article 87 paragraph 6 and article 79 paragraph 4 letter a) of the legislative decree of August 3, 2017 no. 117, for bodies of the third sector.

2) ETS fundraising methods: the main techniques

The ministry’s document clarifies that fundraising methods can be:

  • is private (addressed to the only potential donor)
  • is public and in the case of an invitation addressed to the public, the ETS must comply with the principles set out in the guidelines.

The Guidelines are intended to describe a general framework that is not exhaustive or binding on the fundraising techniques to proceed with:

  • direct mail;
  • Telemarketing?
  • the face to face;
  • Instant response TV?
  • events, including the plaza;
  • commercialization?
  • piggy banks;
  • through for-profit enterprises;
  • remote support activities;
  • testament legacies;
  • solidarity numbers;
  • online donations.

Finally, it should be noted that the Third Sector Code provides for ETSs that use fundraising activities precise reporting obligationswith the aim of protecting public faith, ensuring the transparency of activities and enabling the competent bodies to supervise

Download the UNIQUE PUBLIC CASE Customizable Word Template here drawn up pursuant to article 87 paragraph 6 and article 79 paragraph 4 letter a) of the legislative decree of August 3, 2017 no. 117, for bodies of the third sector.

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