Why Support Blundell's?

There are many charities appealing for your philanthropy. So why should Blundell’s be top of your list?

It is essential for us to provide our pupils with an environment that allows them to achieve their full potential. With your involvement and support, you will be certain of ensuring that pupils, past, present and future will appreciate and take pride in the ongoing success of the School. They too will develop loyalty and passion for the school, thus building on its long history; therefore perpetuating the original intentions of its founder, Peter Blundell.

The Popham Building, home to the Art, Business & Economics and ICT departments

We are very grateful indeed to many of you who have made generous donations in the past, large and small either to the general appeals or for specific areas of interest. We are also very thankful to those of you who have left the School something in your Will. Going forward we hope you will continue to be involved or become involved for the first time, your support really does make a difference as it ensures the continued development of this fine School, which strongly promotes a comprehensive preparation for life after Blundell’s, instilling as it does, the fundamental qualities of friendship, integrity, confidence and independence. These are developed not solely in the classroom, but in tandem with enjoyment on the sports field, in the music, drama and arts and in so many other areas.

The education that pupils receive at Blundell’s has been sustained by generations of donors from 1604 onwards. In donating to Blundell’s you are repaying your debt to the philanthropists of the past by making an investment in the future of your School.

Archery     Archery

We know that many of our present Old Blundellians, Parents, Friends and wider community would like to continue supporting the School and to augment this tradition of giving the Blundell’s Foundation Charity Number 1081249 was established in 1998. As a recognized Charity, donations to the Blundell’s Foundation can be augmented by Gift Aid, which significantly increases the value of the original gift. Equally, high rate tax papers get even greater tax relief.

The Foundation which is administered by the Development Office ensures that the highest standards of conduct apply to the recognition of donors and to the use of their donations ensuring they go to the ends intended and donors will be consulted should this not be possible. While we value the ability to inform donors to which purpose their gifts have been applied, we accept without question a donor’s request for anonymity.

Why do we need to raise funds?

Maintaining the outstanding reputation of Blundell’s School is vital. Doing so means investing in modern facilities and talented teachers in common with many independent schools, we have no endowment fund to assist with the funding of major projects or the continuing provision of much needed bursaries. The modernisation of our facilities, the management of our historic site and buildings, the developing of an expanding curriculum and the future funding of bursaries, are some of the cost pressures we face.

School fees are carefully managed and directed to fund teaching and resourcing. The priority we give to these areas means that the cost of special projects, new buildings and additional teaching cannot be funded out of surpluses alone. Many of the new build projects in the last 15 years have been made possible by the support and generosity of Blundell’s donors to the School.

The Russell - Panorama of SH at the start line
The Russell - panorama of SH at the start line

There are many other projects which also need financial support. These include boarding house refurbishments, teaching aids, sporting equipment, musical instruments, travel and tour bursaries amongst other projects. These purchases might seem small but they are essential to maintaining the quality of our educational environment. As important as major gifts are, many Old Blundellians, Parents and Friends also choose to make annual/regular gifts, as they demonstrate the connection and appreciation that they have for Blundell’s School. By supporting the School on a regular basis, or with one-off gifts you are reinforcing to Blundell’s School the importance of their work. It is this tradition of giving something back to the School that links Old Blundellians of every era. Regular giving means that the Blundell’s also has a dependable source of income that provides confidence to the financial planning processes.

If you would like to make a donation to Blundell’s please download the appropriate form and send to the Development Office, Blundell’s School Blundells Road, Tiverton Devon, EX16 4DN.

Recognition/Benefactor Charter: Our promise to donors

The Development Programme is here to stay. This is not a periodic appeal – a burst of activity followed by years of silence. Our intention is to build a culture of support for Blundell's future development. We can only achieve this if people feel positive about giving both initially and subsequently. This requires us to think of things from the benefactor's point of view.

In order to do this we will:

  • Acknowledge your gift appropriately and as soon as possible after receiving it.
  • Ensure that the money you give is committed to the project of your choice.
  • Be happy to discuss your plans and provide a school perspective before you give.
  • Respect requests for anonymity and in these circumstances keep details of your gift confidential.
  • Keep you updated on the School's activities on a regular basis, through reports in the Diary magazine, on the website and with occasional newsletters.
  • Maintain a permanent record of our gratitude to supporters in a Book of Benefactors, held permanently in the School library.
  • Publish a list of new benefactors each year in Development publications (excluding those who wish to remain anonymous).
  • Consider marking major gifts in more specific ways, by offering the benefactor the opportunity to name a room, building or project.
  • Offer membership to the 1604 Society to those people who pledge support in the form of a legacy.
  • Be happy to host visits to the school be existing or prospective benefactors.

The Development Director is available to discuss in more detail any of the points outlined above.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Surely Blundell's is a wealthy school – why does it need additional support?

The School certainly enjoys a healthy and secure financial position and is well managed to ensure the School is maintained to a high quality, introducing new facilities when surplus allows. However, Blundell's does not benefit from the large endowment funds available to some schools. In order to continue to build on past achievements and to bring our ambitious programme of future improvements to fruition, we need to supplement fee income with support from other sources.

Does this have something to do with the government looking at Charities?

Our history predates the Charities Commission by four centuries and we hope will endure for many more. However, we do know we must do more.

Why doesn't the School just raise fees?

School fees are important, but historically they only fund a portion of the School's budget. Fees pay for the day to day running costs of the School, which include teaching salaries, catering, cleaning, maintenance, laundry, nursing, sport, security, administrative support and transport. Despite this long list, we have to ensure that our fees remain competitive and offer value for money to parents. Annual gifts offer greater flexibility than fees and allow the school to meet new and exciting opportunities as they arise.

How can it be guaranteed that my gift will not be swallowed up in running costs?

We have an obligation to honour your wishes and to use the money you donate for the stated purpose. To ensure that this happens, a separate Blundell's School Foundation Fund has been created.

Does the School have charitable status for tax purposes?

Yes, the School is a registered charity and thanks to Gift Aid, your donation can be greater just by filling in a form! Our charity number is 1081249.

Code of Fundraising Practice for Blundell’s School


In recent months there has been significant coverage around fundraising practices which has damaged the public’s confidence in the work carried out by charities. In response to this, the government commissioned a review into UK-wide fundraising regulation and, Sir Stuart Etherington published his findings in Regulating Fundraising for the future; trust in charities, confidence in fundraising regulation. The Fundraising Regulator sets and maintains the standards for charitable fundraising. They ensure that fundraising is respectful, open, honest and accountable to the public. Blundell’s supports these standards and its registered number with the regulator is 1081249.

1 Good governance

  1. Fundraising is the responsibility of all Governors and cannot be delegated. Governors will always act in the best interest of Blundell’s, manage its resources, including its reputation, responsibility and act with reasonable care and skill
  2. The recent Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill requires trustees to make a statement in their annual report setting out their approach to fundraising.
  3. Fundraising features on the governor’s risk register and the Development Director is able to report to Governors on compliance on a regular basis at each F & G P meeting at Blundell’s.
  4. Blundell’s will not engage in fundraising which intrudes on a person’s privacy, is unreasonably persistent or involves any undue pressure to donate.
  5. Blundell’s will observe the Institute of Fundraising’s Code and the Charity Commission Guide CC20 – Charity Fundraising; A Guide to Trustee’s Duties where relevant.
  6. Blundell’s fundraising will be open and accountable, observe the statutory requirements for accounting and reporting on its fundraising and use relevant media to communicate its fundraising work to its stakeholders.
  7. Blundell’s will maintain and promulgate a complaints procedure for its fundraising activities. The complaints procedure will be communicated to all donors.

2 Donor’s Rights

  1. All fundraising solicitation by or on behalf of Blundell’s School will disclose the School’s name, charity number and purpose for which the funds are requested. Printed solicitations (however transmitted) will also include its address or other contact information.
  2. Donors and prospective donors are entitled to the following, promptly upon request:
    • The most recent annual report and financial statements;
    • Confirmation of the charitable status of Blundell’s School
    • A copy of this code
  3. Donors and prospective donors are entitled to know, upon, request, whether an individual soliciting funds on behalf of the School is a volunteer, an employee or a hired solicitor such as a fundraising consultant.
  4. Donors will be encouraged to seek independent advice if the School has any reason to believe that a proposed gift might significantly affect the donor’s financial position, taxable income, or relationship with other family members.
  5. Donors’ requests to remain anonymous will be respected.
  6. The privacy of donors will be respected. Any donor records that are maintained by the School will be kept secure and confidential. Records will only be accessed by members of the Development, Finance and in some circumstances the Careers Office. Donors have the right to see their own donor record, and to challenge its accuracy. Blundell’s will comply with the requirements of current data protection legislation.
  7. Donors and prospective donors will be treated with respect. Every effort will be made to honour their requests to:
    • Limit the frequency of solicitations;
    • Not to be solicited by telephone or other technology
    • Receive printed material concerning the school
  8. All fundraising communications sent on behalf of Blundell’s will include instructions for opting out of further fundraising communication.
  9. The Development Office will respond within 30 days to a complaint by a donor or prospective donor about any matter that is addressed in this code of practice policy. The Development Director will attempt to satisfy the complainant’s concerns in the first instance. A complainant who remains dissatisfied will be informed that he/she may appeal in writing to the Head, who will respond to this appeal within a further 30 days. If the issue remains unresolved the complainant may pursue the matter with the Fundraising Standards Board.

3 Good Fundraising Practices

Few organisations have the long-term relationships with supporters that schools have. It is important that this is recognised by us. Good stewardship is critical in maintaining these relationships into the future.

Arrangements for ensuring that the elderly and vulnerable remain involved in the life of their school without coming under undue pressure for financial contributions must be in place and understood across the whole school.

  1. Fundraising solicitations on behalf of Blundell’s School will:
    1. Be truthful
    2. Accurately describe the Development Office’s activities and the intended use of donated funds
    3. Respect the dignity and privacy of those who benefit from the Development office’s activities
  2. The Development Office will obtain the written permission of all persons cited in case studies and other promotional material (including photographs) prior to publication.
  3. Volunteers, employees and hired solicitors who solicit or receive funds on behalf of the Development office shall:
    1. Adhere to the provisions of this code
    2. Act with fairness, integrity, and in accordance with all applicable laws
    3. Adhere to the provision of applicable professional codes of ethics, standards of practice, including those published by the Institute of Fundraising and the Institute of Development Professionals in Education
    4. Cease solicitation of a prospective donor who identifies solicitation as harassment or undue pressure;
    5. Disclose immediately to the Development office any actual or apparent conflict of interest; and
    6. Not accept donations for purposes that are inconsistent with the Development Office’s objects or mission
  4. Paid fundraisers, whether staff or consultants, will be compensated by a salary, retainer or fee, and will not be paid finders’ fees, commissions or other payments based on either the number of gifts received or the value of funds raised. Compensation policies for fundraisers, including performance-based compensation practices (such as salary increases or bonuses) will be consistent with the Development Office’s policies and practices that apply to non-fundraising personnel.
  5. The Development Office will not sell its supporter lists.
  6. Clear reporting procedures between fundraisers and Governors, including frequency and matters to be covered, will be in place before any fundraising takes place
  7. The Governors will be informed at least annually of the number, type and disposition of complaints received from donors or prospective donors about matters that are addressed in this code.
  8. Governors will be satisfied that they are able to exercise effective control over fundraising at all times.

4 Good data management practices

  1. Policies and practices relating to data are compliant with the requirements of the Data
    Protection Act. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has made a statement on The Ethrington Review and it is likely that further announcements will be made by the ICO in due course.
  2. Our privacy policy is on our website and is referenced in any materials that we send out which ask for a person to supply us with information (including a gift form). It makes clear the following:
    • Who we are and that we are a charity (if this is not immediately obvious)
    • The type of date that we hold about our alumni and other supporters, and
    • How this data is obtained
    • A statement that we may obtain additional data from third party sources such as the media, social media and screening lists
    • What we use the data for (noting all fundraising and non-fundraising activities and contacts, and
    • How we intend to contact them (i.e. email, post, phone, text, social media)
  3. Our supporters have the right to control how their data can be uses, so the policy states how that person may contact us to remove themselves from our lists for certain or all activities.
  4. People have the right to access the information we hold on them, so we also include how they can request this information (e.g. online, by post).
  5. Schools do have the right to record who attended their school, and when, for verification of qualifications for archive purposes.

5 Working with Third Parties

  1. Any partner, commercial or otherwise, who raises funds for Blundell’s will be required to act in the best interests of Blundell’s when doing so.
  2. Any remuneration or reward given to the partner will be appropriate to the quantum of the net funds raised for Blundell’s
  3. When fundraising for Blundell’s a partner must agree to observe all statutory requirements and act in accordance with the guidance with the IoF Code of Fundraising Practice and the Charity Commission Guide CC20
  4. A written contract, setting out clearly the expectations, terms and conditions for both Blundell’s and the partner will be in place before any fundraising by the partner takes place

6 Communications and Techniques

  1. All fundraising communications issued by Blundell’s will be responsible and appropriate. It will carry obligatory information such as a statement that Blundell’s is a registered charity and company registration numbers and name and its registered address
  2. All statements and claims made will be legal, honest, decent and truthful. In this regard, they will comply with the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct and Promotional Marketing (CAP) and the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP) guidance on advertising
  3. The use of social media will be carefully controlled to ensure that there is no abuse of privacy or inappropriate communication.

7 Direct Marketing, Reciprocal Mailing and Telephone Fundraising

  1. Blundell’s will not send unsolicited mail to those listed with the Mail Preference Service or contact anyone listed with the Telephone Preference Service without obtaining their consent.
  2. Blundell’s will not engage the services of a professional telephone fundraiser without a formal written agreement being in place. This agreement will include all matters which are a legal requirements, including details of payments and expenses for the fundraising.
  3. Blundell’s will follow the guidelines set out in the IoF code of fundraising practice when engaging in telephone fundraising.
  4. Blundell’s will not sell or rent or otherwise communicate its mailing lists to organisations

8 Digital Media

  1. Blundell’s will include information about its status as a charity registered in England and Wales, its registered numbers as a charity and a company and its contact information on its website and any subsidiary websites in a prominent place
  2. Blundell’s will advise readers of its website about the use of any cookies and will comply with the requirements of the privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations.
  3. Where appropriate, Blundell’s will obtain the necessary intellectual property permissions before using digital content such as images, video etc. on its website
  4. When using its websites for commercial purposes, such as advertising or promoting services, Blundell’s will first ensure that a written agreement covering such use is in place.
  5. Blundell’s School Business Directory and its contents have been offered in good faith and every care has been taken to ensure that the information contained in our business directory is accurate, up-to-date and comprehensive. Blundell’s School is not responsible for the content of third parties featured in this directory. The businesses featured are for information only and are not an endorsement of any of the businesses, individuals or offerings featured on these pages. Blundell’s School does not assume any liability for goods or services provided by third parties.

9 Applications to Grant Making Trusts and other Organisations

  1. Blundell’s will select those organisations to which it applies for funding or other support carefully and will avoid mass mailings or other blanket approaches.
  2. Any referees will be consulted during the application process and will approve the final submission documents
  3. All applications for funds will be for projects covered by the Blundell’s constitution
  4. All conditions attached to grants made will be strictly adhered to and progress reports will be made in accordance with the donors requirements
  5. Appeals against the rejection of an application will only be made when there has been a clear mistake of fact or when potential donors have a laid down appeals procedure
  6. Funds must be used for the purpose for which the grant was made unless the permission of the donor to do otherwise is obtained in writing or the advice of the Charity Commission on the alternative use of restricted funds is obtained
  7. Where grants are made anonymously, anonymity will be respected
  8. Where Blundell’s wishes to use information about a grant for PR purposes, the prior permission of the donor will be obtained.

10 Commercial Partnership

  1. Blundell’s will carry out due diligence before entering into partnership with a commercial organisation for the purpose of fundraising or obtaining sponsorship.
  2. No agreement for fundraising or sponsorship will be made unless it is in writing. This written contract will include details for agreeing any subsequent variation to the terms and conditions.

11 Acceptance and Refusal of Donations

  1. The ultimate responsibility to accept or decline a donation resides with the Governors
  2. Donations up to and including a value of £10,000 may be accepted by the Development Director, who shall be accountable through the Blundell’s School management structure, to the Governors. Any gift over this value shall be referred to the Spokesperson (Chairman of Governors) for the Governors, who in consultation with the Head and Development Director, will accept or decline the donation on behalf of the Governors.
  3. There is a legal obligation for the Development Office to undertake a degree of due diligence when approaching potential donors or accepting donations. Particularly for gifts in excess of £10,000. In order to comply with financial regulations the Development Office is unable to accept gifts of cash more than £3,000. Gifts larger than this value are welcome but should be made electronically, by cheque, by credit card or debit card.
  4. On occasion the Development Office may wish to delay the acceptance of a gift with a view to providing the Donor with advice enabling them to donate in a more tax efficient manner, if it is felt that this will not jeopardise the donation itself.
  5. The Development Office will only decline a donation if it is felt by the Governors or their delegated representatives that the gift:
    1. Would impair the Development Office in fulfilling its objectives, particularly with respect to supporting Blundell’s School.
    2. Is inimical to the objectives of the Development Office, its agreed policies or its beneficiaries
    3. Would lead to a demonstrable net decline in the assets of Blundell’s School
    4. Consists of goods, property, or services, which the Development office cannot lawfully use, convert, sell or exchange, in direct support of its charitable aims.
    5. Is independent on the fulfilment of unacceptable conditions applied by the donor. For example if the governors believed such conditions would place the assets of Blundell’s School at an undue or inappropriate risk.
  6. Governors may apply to the Charity Commission for an order authorising the Development Office to refuse a donation according to the guidelines set out in section 62 of the Charities Act 1992 and Section 26 of the Charities Act 1993 if:
    1. It is not immediately clear what the ‘best interests of the charity’ are in relation to the proposed donation
    2. Large sums of money or property are involved
    3. The Governors have reason to believe that a decision taken by them might be subsequently challenged in the courts
    4. The Governors wish to use the ‘authority’ of a Charity Commission order to mitigate against the threat of negative publicity engendered by the refusal of a donation.
  7. Gifts from parents and families with children at Blundell’s are important because they help us to continue to provide high quality facilities and opportunities to all our pupils
    1. Such gifts can only be accepted if they support defined projects or opportunities available to a wide range of pupils. For example a capital development or a bursary fund. Gifts cannot be made to offset School fees or the cost of a trip or activity for an individual pupil who is related or known to a donor.
    2. Gifts from parents and families are most welcome and will be renewed with the same gratitude and stewardship offered to other, similar, gifts.
    3. The decision of a parent to make or not make a gift to Blundell’s School will have no bearing on the academic, sporting or extracurricular opportunities open to an individual pupil.

12 Repayment of Donations

  1. Where a change in circumstances prompts a donor to request the repayment of part or all of a donation, the final decision to repay a donation shall rest with the Governors.
  2. Once the Development Office has accepted a donation it can only be returned if:
    1. The terms and conditions of the gift provided for it to be returned under particular circumstances
    2. The law specifically provides for the donation to be returned, for example under section 61 of the Charities Act 1992 donations over £50 made by Credit or Debit Card are subject to a seven day cooling off period.
    3. The Charities Commission grant authorisation for an ex-gratia payment to be made by the Development Office to discharge a ‘compelling moral obligation’. Such a payment is subject to section 27 of the Charities Act 1993.

13 Token of Thanks

  1. From time to time supporters of the Development Office may wish to make gifts to staff, Governors or volunteers they have worked with.
  2. It would be churlish to suggest that such tokens of thanks should not be accepted and it is recognised that to refuse such items may cause misunderstanding or offence and hence be contrary to the work of the Development Office.
  3. Due to the nature of the work of the Development Office all such gifts should be registered with the Development Director at the earliest opportunity. The Director will record such gifts in the Development Office Register.
  4. A copy of the Development Office Gift Register will be presented annually to the Governors
  5. Gifts to individuals (not the Development Office) worth less than £50 may be kept by the recipient, and need not be registered.
  6. If an individual receives a substantial gift, worth over £50, this gift must be accepted on behalf of the Development Office. Gifts made by individuals or groups of supporters to leaving members of staff are exempt from this code.
  7. Such gifts should be lodged with the Bursar until the Governors decide how to dispose of the gift to the best advantage of Blundell’s School. Their decision will be recorded in the Register.
  8. If the substantial gift is perishable then the Bursar will decide how to dispose of the item, and record the decision in the Register.

14 Financial Accountability

  1. The Blundell’s School Development office’s financial affairs will be conducted in a responsible manner, consistent with the ethical obligations of stewardship and the legal requirements of the Charity Commission.
  2. All donations will be used to support the mission of Blundell’s School.
  3. All donations and grants received must be recorded and acknowledged. If made for a specific project or purpose they must be accounted for as a restricted fund.
  4. No deduction may be made from funds raised by an external organisation on behalf of Blundell’s before handing over the proceeds. Any payments agreed for services rendered will be made separately.
  5. Blundell’s will produce and maintain a plan for the stewardship of donors, both to thank them and to encourage future donations and grants.
  6. All restricted or designated donations will be used for the purposes for which they are given. If necessary due to programme or organisational changes, alternative uses will be discussed where possible with the donor or the donor’s legal designate. If the donor is deceased or legally incompetent, and the Development Office is unable to contact a legal designate, the donation will be used in a manner that is as consistent as possible with the donor’s original intent.
  7. Annual financial reports will:
    1. Be factual and accurate in all material respects
    2. Be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and standards