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RCOphth Fundraising Policy

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) acts as the voice of the profession, we set the curriculum and examinations for trainee ophthalmologists, provide training in eye surgery, maintain standards in the practice of ophthalmology, and promote research and advance science in the specialty. Ophthalmologists are at the forefront of eye health services because of their extensive training and experience in the field of ophthalmology.  

To help guarantee the availability of ongoing funds to pay for this work, RCOphth aims to maintain a broad base of different sources of funding. The purpose of this policy is to ensure clarity and openness to all stakeholders in the eye health sector.  


We actively seek opportunities to work together with organisations and individuals to achieve shared objectives. However, it is vital that RCOphth maintains its independence and does not allow any partnership to bring the name of RCOphth into disrepute. RCOphth therefore accepts financial support from, and partnership working with, companies and individuals on the following conditions: –  

  • There are strong grounds for believing it will result in a benefit to the aims and objectives of the College.  
  • The Chief Executive and Trustees are satisfied that no serious adverse publicity will result from accepting such support  
  • There is no attempt on the part of the company or individual to influence RCOphth policy or actions either explicitly or implicitly  
  • That initiatives do not compromise the independent status of RCOphth 

Cause Related Marketing, Affinity Marketing and Product/Service Endorsement  

We do not endorse medical products or devices, nor do we promote other services knowingly linked to Eye & Visual Conditions. Endorsement or Commercial Partnerships involving services of benefit to our members i.e. insurance, credit cards etc will be assessed by the Board of Trustees on a case by case basis with analysis of the merit of the service as well as risk attached. With lower value relationships these will be similarly assessed for merit and risk but with any endorsement only extending to the value of the purpose of the product/service rather than the individual product itself. 

Only RCOphth will have direct access to our database, patient groups and beneficiaries. In order to ensure that all of our cause-related promotion reflects our charity’s values any potential initiative must come to the Chief Executive and relevant governance committee for approval  

Avoidance Criteria  

RCOphth will not accept financial support or partnerships with companies involved with any of the following activities: 

the manufacture of tobacco  

Acceptance Criteria  

When deciding whether to accept any particular donation, the Chief Executive and the Trustees have a duty to demonstrate to the Charity Commission that they have acted in the best interest of the charity, and that association with any particular donor does not compromise RCOphth’s ethical position, harm our reputation or put future funding at risk.  

RCOphth complies with all relevant legislation including money laundering rules, the Fundraising Code of Practice, the Bribery Act and Charity Commission guidance, including terrorism and political activity.  

RCOphth therefore would not accept any of the following where the donation: –  

  • Was known to be associated with criminal sources  
  • Would help further a donor’s personal objectives which conflict with those of RCOphth  
  • Would lead to a significant decline in support for RCOphth and so risk a fall in the resources available to fund our work  
  • Was from an individual/business who did not have the mental/corporate capacity to freely and willingly give a gift at the time they agreed to make the donation 
  • Would otherwise significantly damage our reputation  

Returning Donations 

In accordance with the law, the charity does not refund donations after the gift is made, except in exceptional circumstances. This may include a breach of this policy, where accepting or retaining the gift is contrary to law or where there is an extreme ethical issue in retaining the gift. In accordance with law, a gift will only be returned at the clear written instruction of the board of trustees or charity commission. 

Other issues 

Any additional ethical concerns not outlined in this policy should be reported to the Chief Executive for consideration. 

The trustees have delegated decisions on fundraising to a fundraising panel, consisting of two staff members, three committee chairs and an OTG representative, however the trustees remain the ultimate decision-making body in relation to this policy and fundraising matters. 

Written – 07/18 Review 07/21 

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