CFDG plans to manage the phasing out of cheques

17th December 2009

The Charity Finance Directors’ Group (CFDG) has announced its plans to support its members’ management of the phasing out of cheques.

The plans will be rolled out in 2010 and include issuing guidance to advise members on best practice to enhance the efficiency of their finance functions, lobbying the banks to ensure that they offer the best service to charity customers whatever payment method is used, working with the banks to develop effective and appropriate alternatives for charities and their donors, and undertaking research to assess the impact of the change on the charity sector.

The decline in the general usage of cheques has been less dramatic for charities than for other sectors, as many of CFDG’s members still receive a significant number of donations by cheque, particularly at key times such as Christmas. Nevertheless the decision by the UK Payments Council to set 31 October 2018 as the target date for the closure of the system that processes cheques makes it clear that the days of the cheque are numbered.

Charles Nall, CFDG Chair, said “Banking is one of the core areas of our members’ work and there is no doubt that modern electronic banking methods are safe, efficient and cost effective. However we have to both promote the best financial management practice in the sector, and ensure that charity supporters can continue to make payments using methods that suit them.

“We will therefore support our members to manage the changes, ensure that they are not penalised for processing large numbers of cheque payments, advise them on the most cost efficient ways to manage their finance functions, and develop ideas that constitute genuine alternatives for our donors.

Roger Chester, CFDG Vice Chair said: “We have to balance encouraging giving by methods most convenient for donors alongside promoting the best financial management practice in the sector. It is a tightrope, but by working with our members, others in the sector and with the banks we’ll ensure that we get the balance right.”

- Ends -

Notes to Editor:

The Charity Finance Directors' Group was set up in 1987 and is an umbrella group that specialises in helping charities to manage their finance-related functions.

CFDG’s circa 1,600 plus members are responsible for the finances of charities with a wide variety of income levels. Between them our members manage some £14.7 billion in charity income per year. For further information please contact our Policy Team on tel: 020 7785 6426 or email:

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