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Small charity representatives claim they could be unfairly hit by FPS

Small charity representatives claim they could be unfairly hit by FPS
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Small charity representatives claim they could be unfairly hit by FPS

Fundraising | Hugh Radojev | 10 Feb 2016

Small charities could be cut off from their supporters because people will use the Fundraising Preference Service without thinking of local organisations, according to a document handed to the chair of the FPS working group.

The Institute of Fundraising and Small Charities Coalition jointly hosted a forum on the ongoing changes to fundraising regulation in London last week. After presentations by both Stephen Dunmore, interim chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator (pictured) and George Kidd chair of the FPS working group, representatives went off into breakout groups to discuss the proposed changes.

The key issues which came out of those sessions have now been published and distributed to both Dunmore and Kidd, as well as to the wider small and medium charity sector.

Amongst the most pressing issues raised, relate to the ongoing “confusion” surrounding the proposed Fundraising Preference Service. Representatives have called upon the working group and the regulator to continue to “engage” and to give small and medium sized organisations “opportunities to feed in views”.

A summary document issued by the IoF and SCC said that the term “reset”, first set out in relation to the FPS in the original Etherington Review, is “concerning” as the vast majority of existing and would-be donors “only think of large ‘brand’ charities and don’t immediately think of smaller, local charities.

“A ‘reset’ will happen because of one piece of direct mail from a large charity without understanding the relationships will stop,” the document said.

There was also fears expressed that an FPS might mean that larger charities will “do more street or door to door fundraising” which in the process might make “other forms of fundraising more expensive”, in effect pricing smaller organisations out of fundraising all together.

Concerns were also expressed about the proposed ‘fundraising levy’ which will pay for the existence of the Fundraising Regulator. The setting of the levy amount “must be proportionate and not overburdensome,” said representatives and the regulator should “consider phasing in or different payment options for charities to manage costs”.

Small charities also called upon Stephen Dunmore and the Fundraising Regulator as a whole to take a more active role in “engaging with the public and with press/media/politicians” on behalf of fundraising organisations. Many representatives wondered whether the Fundraising Regulator would be more proactive in explaining “why charities need to ask for support” or would instead only speak publicly about “bad practice and complaints”.

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