First steps, and concerns, on new fundraising regulation

The first meeting has been held of sector bodies to progress a new organisation to take over responsibility for regulating charity fundraising from the existing self-regulatory bodies. It was co-hosted by the Minister for Civil Society and NCVO’s Stuart Etherington, who led the recent review.

The aim is for the new self-regulator to take responsibility for the code of fundraising practice. In the meantime, the FRSB will continue to self-regulate charity fundraising until such time as the new self-regulator is established.

The IoF and PFRA will, subject to their members’ agreement, merge into one professional body focusing on compliance and transferring all regulatory aspects to the new self-regulator.

A working group will be set up to plan the implementation of the Fundraising Preference Service.

All parties agreed to work with colleagues in Scotland and Northern Ireland to ensure that the system could operate on a UK-wide basis, should they choose to participate in the new self-regulatory system

FRSB – Fundraising Standards Board, IOF – Institute of Fundraising, PFRA – Public Fundraising Regulatory Association.

A summit with the wider voluntary sector will be held “in the coming weeks”. NCVO press release, plus Stuart Etherington’s article ‘What’s next for fundraising self-regulation?‘.

Also see recent VoluntaryNews item ‘Proposed fundraising regulatory changes to go ahead‘.

Information regulator’s concerns

The Information Commissioner’s Office has said that it had concerns some of the big charities were ignoring the Telephone Preference Service back in early 2014. The Information Commissioner was giving evidence to a parliamentary committee looking at call centres raising funds for charities. He was also critical of the proposed Fundraising Preference Service, which would “be a confusion”.

ICO is in the process of setting up a memorandum of understanding with the FRSB.

“We must never again have a situation where the FRSB, or whatever follows it, is aware of complaints and we as the back stop regulator with the statutory power to deal with it are not aware.”

See Civil Society News article ‘ICO warned eight charities over potential breaches of TPS rules in March 2014‘.