While the intervention by the Commissioner of Charities (COC) to come up with a comprehensive set of guidelines for commercial fund-raisers is timely (New code lays down guidelines for commercial fund-raisers, March 22), the COC should also address questions that go beyond commercial fund-raisers.
Fund-raising activities are also conducted by schools on behalf of charities as part of their Values in Action programme, and by companies as part of their corporate social responsibility.
The problems that the COC's new guidelines are intended to alleviate are universal to fund-raisers.
Some guidelines in the new code are relevant to non-commercial fund-raisers, such as including the minimum age of fund-raisers, the obligation to disclose the charity they are raising funds for and that fund-raisers should not act dishonestly towards, or exert undue pressure on, members of the public.
Can the COC clarify whether non-commercial fund-raisers are subject to the new code, and if not, shed light on any plans to include them?
Sean Lim Wei Xin