Proposed fundraising regulatory changes to go ahead

The government has accepted all of the proposals made in the Etherington Fundraising Review, including the Fundraising Preference Service.

The minister for civil society announced

  • Large charities could be forced to sign up to a new fundraising watchdog.
  • If large charities fail to appropriately safeguard their supporters in any way the government will have new powers to intervene and regulate charity fundraising.
  • The new watchdog will require charities to have the explicit consent of all donors, past and present, before any data can be shared.

Government announcement, or read Civil Society News article.

Also see our previous coverage ‘Fundraising regulation reviews published‘ for the contents of the Etherington Review and the parallel Scottish review (more on that below).

Further guidance

The Charity Commission, in its response to the government announcement, has said that it will be consulting on a new version of its fundraising guidance before the end of the year.

The Information Commissioners Office said in response to the Fundraising Review:

“We will be producing further guidance looking at the issues of informed consent in relation to fundraising practices and the timescale of valid consent. The guidance will also give a clear indication of our approach to regulatory action. Our investigations into the charity sector are continuing and we’d ask any member of the public who still has concerns to report them to us.”

NCVO has a couple of articles giving more background and explanation on the review:


Third Force News has reported that sector umbrella body SCVO has warned that a solution for England and Wales isn’t necessarily a solution for Scotland and Scots’ charities must now decide for themselves on the regulation of fundraising.

“The atmosphere in England just now is very different from that in Scotland and the danger is draconian reforms there will be imposed here. So we need to work towards a Scottish solution. We’ll ask charities what they want and we’ll consult extensively. But it’s crucial we take this opportunity to shape our own self-regulation.”

A further Third Force News piece says

“We have three options: go with the English set up and extend to Scotland; establish our own arrangements in line with our own circumstances; or engage with the institutions in England to develop a hybrid model of regulation that would give us best of both worlds.”

Scottish charity regulator OSCR has said it “looks forward to working with other relevant bodies in the development of the new framework to ensure that it reflects the needs of donors and charities in Scotland and the rest of the UK.” A fundraising summit has been proposed by SCVO.