The Royal Hospital Chelsea was founded by Charles II 'for the succour and relief of veterans broken by age and war'.

It has been doing just that for the past 322 years, and today is home to some 300 male and female veteran soldiers (the Chelsea Pensioners), providing them with care and comradeship.

The Royal Hospital also has an obligation to preserve, and where appropriate improve, the condition and setting of the heritage buildings, the majority of which are Grade 1 listed, and similarly to preserve and, where appropriate, display its collection of art and artefacts.

The day-to-day operations of the Royal Hospital are funded in large part by the Government through a Grant-in-Aid. However, all capital costs and a proportion of the running costs have to be met privately from funds raised for that purpose. In addition, the Royal Hospital has an endorsed policy to progressively establish an endowment to secure its long term future on its historic site. In order to raise these funds the Royal Hospital aims to develop and maintain a broad fundraising base, which in all cases must be consistent with best practice and with the guidelines provided by the Institute of Fundraising and the Charity Commission.


The Royal Hospital Chelsea actively seeks opportunities to work with external organisations and individuals to achieve shared objectives. However, it is essential the Royal Hospital maintains its independence and does not allow any third party to bring its name into disrepute.

Chelsea Pensioners at the Royal Hospital Chelsea

The Royal Hospital will therefore accept financial support from, and work in partnership with, third parties (companies and individuals) on the following conditions:

  • That the outcomes of fundraising will benefit the care and quality of life of the Chelsea Pensioners, and/or enable the Commissioners to discharge their obligations to the heritage.
  • The fundraising activities will bring no adverse publicity either to the Royal Hospital itself or to the Government.
  • That no attempt is made by any company or individual to link a donation with an attempt to influence the policy or activities of the Royal Hospital either explicitly or implicitly.
  • That the independent status of the Royal Hospital is not in any way compromised by fundraising activities.

Cause Related Marketing, Affinity Marketing and Product/Service Endorsement

Only the Royal Hospital will have direct access to the various databases it maintains, including those containing Chelsea Pensioners' details, in accordance with the RHC Privacy Statement.

In order to ensure that all cause-related promotion and marketing efforts properly reflect the values of the charity, any initiative that is in any way novel or contentious must first be approved by the Management Board and, if deemed necessary, the Board of Commissioners.

Avoidance Criteria

The Royal Hospital will not accept financial support from, or enter into a partnership with, any third party involved with activities which might damage the reputation of the Royal Hospital. This includes, but is not limited to, third parties involved in: 

  • The manufacture or sale of tobacco products.
  • The sale or production of pornography.

Acceptance Criteria

Statue of King Charles II by Grinling Gibbons at the Royal Hospital Chelsea

The Royal Hospital, as represented by the Board of Commissioners, must ensure that all marketing and fundraising activities carried out on its behalf are consistent both with this policy and with best practice in the charitable sector, and that any donation from, or relationship with, a third party does not in any way compromise this policy, damage the Royal Hospital's reputation or jeopardise future fundraising opportunities.

The Royal Hospital must also ensure that at all times and in all things it complies with relevant legislation, including legislation on data protection, money laundering and bribery, as well as following government guidance in relation to acts of terrorism and political activity. Although not legally subject to the Charity Commission, it is the intention of the Board of Commissioners that the Royal Hospital always acts in a manner that is consistent with the policy of that body.

The Royal Hospital will not accept donations where:

  • The donor is known to be associated with criminal sources and/or illegal activity.
  • The donor's personal objectives conflict with those of Royal Hospital.
  • Accepting a donation might impact adversely on the Royal Hospital's reputation, and thus damage its longer term fundraising prospects.
  • Accepting a donation from any particular source is inconsistent with Government policy.


The Royal Hospital will not knowingly purchase goods and/or services produced and delivered under conditions which involve any form of abuse or exploitation of third parties. Examples (not definitive) of such abuse and exploitation include: the employment of child labour, the failure to pay employees a living wage, and evidence of any form of inhuman, unreasonable or discriminatory treatment of employees.

The Royal Hospital expects suppliers to accept responsibility for the labour and environmental conditions under which products are made and services are provided, and to make a written statement of intent regarding the company's policy.


The Board of Commissioners appoints Investment Managers to whom authority is delegated, within defined parameters, for the day to day management of specified funds. In doing so it requires those investment managers always to invest Royal Hospital funds in a manner that is consistent with this ethical fundraising policy.


This Ethical Fundraising Policy has been drawn up to provide guidance to all those engaged in fundraising activitiy on behalf of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. It should be employed consistently and rigorously to ensure all fundraising activity is consistent with the principles outlined above. Should there be any doubt, the advice of the Management Board should be sought.

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Rotary watches and Chelsea FC captain, Gary Cahill presents the Royal Hospital with 10 watches in support of our charity

Chelsea Pensioners were delighted to accept 10 Rotary watches on behalf of the Royal Hospital Chelsea and to meet Gary Cahill.

Brompton Cemetery Willow Garden
Remembrance Round-up 2018

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, this year marked 100 years since the end of the First World War. Today we look back at how the Chelsea Pensioners supported the Centenary commemorations.


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