New fundraising legislation and official review

New regulations will require charities with incomes of over a million pounds to explain their fundraising approach in their annual report. This would include listing the use of professional fundraising agencies, as well as steps to prevent inappropriate fundraising from vulnerable people.

The government announced * that this would be added to the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill currently going through the parliamentary process.

Update: Please see Fundraising legislation and reviews move forward for the outcome of the Bill’s Report stage in the House of Lords on 20th July, and details of a Commons committee fundraising review.

There has been wide media coverage – indeed the legislative proposals follow a Daily Mail campaign. A BBC news item is at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33490964.

* The announcement seems to have appeared first on David Cameron’s Facebook page, rather than the usual channels. A press release appeared on the Cabinet Office web pages (dated 11th July) some time after our news item was first published (on 13th July).

Self-regulation review

The chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, Stuart Etherington, has also been asked by the Minister for Civil Society to lead a review of fundraising self-regulation.

The review will take evidence from many stakeholders – including those representing vulnerable groups – in order to identify what changes are required to rebuild public trust in fundraising by charities.

More on the review at http://blogs.ncvo.org.uk/2015/07/10/a-review-of-fundraising-self-regulation/. Contributions can be made via email or comments on that article, but presumably a fuller process to come soon. The NCVO article says that the review is expected to report back by mid-September.

Update: the terms of reference are now available from that NCVO link, too. Direct link (pdf, 194KB). Civil Society News has more background on the review panel members, and also the proposed legislation. Also see our later news item, Fundraising legislation and review move forward.

Further reading

Civil Society News reports that the sector welcomes the legislation and fundraising bodies will co-operate with the review.

Scottish update

The above applies to England and Wales, as charity law is a devolved matter for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Third Force News reports that the Scottish Government has called on the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations to undertake an informal review of fundraising in Scotland and report by the end of August. A spokesperson for the Scottish Government also said that “Our controls have served Scotland well so far, however we are always looking at improvements so will consider the UK Government’s proposals closely.”

SCVO’s director of public affairs contributed:

We .. welcome the Scottish Government decision to launch a review into fundraising in Scotland to run alongside the review being carried out in England. SCVO will announce in due course more details of how this review will be carried out.”
Also worth a read, the SCVO blog item ‘Fundraising problems can’t be allowed to silence the third sector‘.