40+ Free UK Charity Policy Templates

Free UK charity policy templates for Charity Commission compliance, including GDPR (data protection), anti money laundering, whistleblowing and finance

Free UK Charity Policy Templates

Free UK charity policy templates to create your own safeguarding, health and safety at work, data protection (GDPR) and other policies for charities required for compliance with Charity Commission guidance.  These are web page templates to copy but we also have 40+ downloadable free charity policy templates, including those less easy to find, such as anti money laundering, privacy, whistleblowing, and internal financial controls policy templates.

Downloadable Policy Templates For Charities

You can download any of the policy templates for charities below in Word format by registering (it's free) and then logging in. Once logged in, click the in-system AI bunny icon, then his Policies button and tell him which policy you want.  Watch this 3 min demo video. You can also ask him for a list of all the policy templates. The system will automatically make relevant policies available, as you score relevant questionnaires, but you can find and quickly download all of the policies in the Risk and People questionnaire statements that have POLICY TEMPLATES typed into the text.

  • Governance.  Board operating procedures, trustee code of conduct, board reserved powers, board skills and experience, conflicts of interest and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
  • Fundraising.  Acceptance & refusal of donations, fundraising due diligence & donor checklists, crypto fundraising, donation refunds, fundraising (volunteers), ethical fundraising, grant making, grant agreement and pro bono company agreement.
  • Finance.  Anti-bribery, anti-money laundering, cash handling, due diligence, expenses, internal financial controls, investment, reserves, risk management and risk register.
  • HR. Bullying & harassment, charity code of conduct, dress code, expenses, pay & remuneration, safeguarding, volunteer selection and whistleblowing.
    • There is also a download that lists and includes links to a wide range of HR policies, letters and templates produced by others that you can download for free.
    • Or ask the AI tech bunnies and they'll connect you directly to each one.
  • Social Media. Social media group guidelines and social media policy.
  • International.  Staying safe overseas and staying safe overseas (high risk areas),
  • Other.  Animal welfare, campaigning, complaints, data protection, environmental, food safety, H&SW, and project & programme assessment.

And Charity Excellence does a lot more than that.  It's one-stop shop for anything your charity might need.   

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The Charity Commission website is awful, I can't find a list of the policies they expect and their guidance can be extensive.  The fraud toolkit is nearly 60 pages.  Consequently, I've created charity policy templates for those activities I know they focus on and which I think are important.  You can download full versions of these in Word from within the system, as well as other policies.

Charity Commission Safeguarding Policy Guidance

This resource highlights the key points in the Charity Commission trustee safeguarding guidance on child protection and safeguarding vulnerable adults, which can be used as a template to create your policy, with links to other safeguarding resources.

Charity Volunteer Policy & Agreement Guidance

This short, practical guide and template enable you to create your volunteer policy and agreement to find, recruit, manage and retain your charity volunteers

Charity Commission Guidance For Trustees - Conflict Of Interest Policy

The Charity Commission takes conflict of interest very seriously. This is a sample policy template and guidance for charity trustee boards, with links to other related Charity Commission and Charity Excellence resources.

Finance Policy Guidance - Sample Risk Management Policy & Register

This charity risk management policy guide explains the basics of risk management and assessment. It gives you a simple 3 step process to use and sample templates for your own risk policy and risk register and includes having a charity reserves policy. It can be used for everything from trustee risk planning to assessing and managing charity shop and fundraising event risk.

Charity Commission Reserves Policy Regulations

This resource provides an example reserves policy template, explains why a reserves policy is important, what you should include, the different types of financial reserves, questions to ask yourself and links to resources to help you. It is a simple template and guide to the Charity Commission CC19 guidance on reserves and is aimed primarily at small charities.

Charity Commission Compliance Toolkit

There are a range of fundraising policies you might need, and you can download these from the system.  The one I've put online is due diligence of donors and partners, which the Charity Commission takes very seriously.

A charity due diligence template for checks on donations, new fundraising donors, partners contractors or others to help ensure problems will not arise in working with them and comply with donor rules & regulations, such as gift acceptance & refusal, ethical fundraising policies and 'know your donor'. This article also includes links to Charity Commission due diligence compliance toolkits and checklists.

Charity Commission Complaints Procedures - Templates & Wording You Can Use

Advice on Charity Commission complaints - how to complain about them, or to report a concern about a charity, including how to do that well, the procedures and free templates that you can use, including Decision Reviews. 1st Tier (Charity) Tribunal, and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Subject Access requests.

Charity Ethical Fundraising Policy Template

I don't think there's a specific requirement to have one, but I've created a simple to use template for a charity Ethical Fundraising Policy. This is intended to help protect donors and beneficiaries and ensure that your fundraising complies with Charity Commission and other regulator guidance and ethics requirements.

Grant Making Policy Template

Having a charity grant making policy is not a legal obligation and there’s no ‘right way’ to do it. This simple fundraising policy template for grant making, makes it simpler and, if you are a grant maker applying to the Charity Commission for registration, you should certainly include a grant making policy with your application.


Charities are subject to UK law in the same way as any other organisation and, if applicable, the rules and regulations of other regulators.  Here are some of the most common ones for charities.

HSE - Health & Safety Policy

The law says that every charity must have a policy health and safety policy.  This sets out your general approach to health and safety and explains how you will manage this.  It should clearly say who does what, when and how - here's the HSE guidance.

If you have five or more employees, your charity health and safety policy must be written down. If your charity has fewer you don't have to, but it is useful to do so.  You must share the policy, and any changes to it, with your people.

The charity trustee/Management Committee needs to issue any underpinning Health and Safety at Work (H&SW) policies needed and to ensure that any risk assessments and/or training required is carried out, and any safety equipment or clothing needed is provided.

Here’s a useful getting started checklist for Health and Safety. And, here’s the Heath and Safety Executive guidance for voluntary organisations managing low risk, such as offices, shops and community halls.

Charity Event Guidance & Compliance Checklist

Even running a fairly simple charity event can involve numerous legal obligations, such as managing health and safety and food handling.  I created this simple event planning checklist to make this easier.

ICO (Data Protection Regulator) - Data Protection Policy (GDPR)

You must have an up-to-date data protection policy, which is understood by everyone and consistently applied, to ensure data is safeguarded and managed correctly.

This can get horribly complicated, in some circumstances, but for most of us basically make sure that what you are doing adheres to the 8 data protection principles.

The ICO (Data Protection Regulator) has a small organisations hub.

ICO Guidance - Privacy Notice

The ICO (Data Protection Regulator) has some very good, simple advice on writing a privacy notice, which includes a downloadable template in Word that you can use.

Fundraising Regulator Compliance

The CEF system has a range of relevant policies you can download from the Income questionnaire, including ethical fundraising, due diligence and the acceptance and refusal of donations, as well as an event planning and compliance checklist.  A good general starting point is the Code of Fundraising Practice.

Employment Policies

Staff/volunteers must be made aware of relevant HR policies, which are comprehensive, up-to-date and are applied fairly and consistently.

A written statement of employment must be given to staff and should either contain or refer to disciplinary rules and procedures. Many employers create a separate disciplinary procedure and a grievance procedure.

I would suggest that an equal opportunities and anti-harassment & bullying policies should be a must, in light of the abuse in the sector.  Leave entitlement, travel expenses and pay policies are worth thinking about, as are a flexible working and a working from home policies.  Acas has a selection of HR policy and other templates and also has a help line.

Note that volunteers are not staff/employees/workers, so I would suggest a volunteering policy and agreement to ensure our volunteers are managed, supported and recognised for their contribution to our work.  There's a bit to this and it applies to most, so I wrote this Charity Excellence guide to managing volunteers. It includes what you need for a volunteer policy and agreement.

The trustees/management team should ensure that HR procedures are applied in a consistent and fair way, and without avoiding addressing issues or unreasonably delaying the process.

Charity Environmental Sustainability Policy

It's now more important than ever for charities to be environmentally conscious and it can also save and earn you money too. Use this template to create your environmental, or sustainability policy - with 50+ eco friendly ideas to choose from - waste management, recycling, sourcing products, travel and charity environmental regulations.

Charity Commission Policy Compliance

Listed below is the Charity Commission guidance that I am most frequently asked about, but this list is by no means exhaustive.

And the Charity Commission isn't the only relevant regulator.  Others include HMRC, the Fundraising Regulator.  There are also others that are relevant for charities in specific sectors, such as DFE, CQC and the Electoral Commission.

To get advice and be connected to relevant guidance, click the AI Bunny icon in the bottom right of your screen and ask it short questions, including key words.  Or register with Charity Excellence and complete the health check questionnaires.

Policies for Problems with Charity Bank Accounts

Lots of charities, particularly those operating overseas have had problems with bank compliance. Increasing numbers of banks seem to be demanding compliance assurance relating to anti money laundering, bribery and sanctions.  If that happens to your charity, you can download in Word format anti money laundering and anti bribery policies.  The OFSI sanctions guidance to charities is in the due diligence policy, which can also be downloaded.  You just need to register, then login, click the in-system AI bunny, then his Policies button and tell him which ones you want.  Everything is free.

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Charity Policy and Procedures FAQs

  • What policies are required for Charity Commission compliance?  The Charity Commission doesn’t publish a list of policies required but does publish guidance on specific issues such as safeguarding, reserves, conflict of interest and risk management.
  • What finance policies should a charity have?  There is no definitive list of charity finance policies, but internal financial controls and reserves are probably the most common.  Others include cash handling, schemes of delegation, investment, money laundering.
  • Do charities need a financial reserves policy?  Trustees need to set aside sufficient funding to protect against reductions in income or to take advantage of an opportunity.  A reserves policy is a useful way to do that and is usually a standard policy in all but the smallest charities.
  • Do charities need a health and safety policy?  The H&SW Act requires organisations with 5 or more staff to have a written H&SW policy. However, charities with fewer should think about having one and should have any specific H&SW policies needed to keep everyone safe.
  • Do all charities have to have a safeguarding policy?  Your charity must have a safeguarding policy if you work with children or vulnerable adults and trustees should consider other safety policies, such as H&SW, Bullying & Harassment and Whistleblowing.
  • Do charities need a data protection (GDPR) policy? The Data Protection Act applies to all organisations that process personal data, including volunteers and donors.  A data protection policy helps you to comply with the Law.
  • Do charities need an anti money laundering policy? There is no legal requirement to have a money laundering policy, but it can be useful for charities working overseas and banks are increasingly asking for one.
  • Do charities need an anti bribery policy?  It is not a legal requirement to have an anti bribery policy but the UK anti bribery act applies globally and, if you work overseas, it's best practice to have one, particularly if you work in high risk countries.  The banks are increasingly asking some charities for these.
  • When should charity policies be reviewed?  There should be a regular programme of reviewing all policies with key policies reviewed by trustees annually.
  • When should charity policies be updated?  Policies should be updated when the charity changes how it works, starts new activities or there is a change in the Law or regulator’s guidance.

This Resource Doesn't Constitute Professional Opinion

I am not an accountant, nor a lawyer and no advice can be applicable to all organisations, in all circumstances, so this resource is no more than a guide to understanding.  I've summarised the regulatory guidance and augmented this with my own experience and Internet research, but I am not competent to provide professional advice.  I have included links to the source guidance to enable you to check this yourself and, if you think you might need professional advice, register, then login and use the Help Finder directory to find pro bono support. Everything is free.

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