Public interest should be new regulator’s priority

The body that regulates fundraising should be replaced by a more effective unit and tougher sanctions, a review of the self-regulatory system has concluded.

The investigation, commissioned by the government, follows concerns over how charities make contact with potential donors. It says that the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) has been ineffective as a regulator, losing the confidence of public and charities alike.

The review has recommended that as a way forward, public interest should be the core of the process, with a new regulator setting its own standards for good fundraising practice. Currently, the FRSB adjudicates against standards set by fundraisers themselves via their trade body.

The review also recommends the creation of a new Fundraising Preference Service for the public to opt out of fundraising communications. The service would effectively act as a reset button for those who are unhappy about the number of charities contacting them.

The Charity Commission has welcomed the findings. Chairman William Shawcross said: “Charities must now step up and lead the way forward.

“The Charity Commission will play its part to support the development of any new fundraising regulatory body. It is crucial that charity trustees meet their obligations to oversee fundraising and I welcome the emphasis on this in the review.”

As with so many sectors, legislation is changing at a pace almost too quick to see. At Moore Thompson we remain on top of each development, reassuring charities that they will not only be kept up to date but compliant too. For more information, please contact us.