Share

New guidance weighted against professional fundraisers, says Institute

New guidance weighted against professional fundraisers, says Institute
News

New guidance weighted against professional fundraisers, says Institute

Fundraising | Gemma Ware | 1 Feb 2008

The Institute of Fundraising has branded new government guidance for fundraisers “highly complicated and confusing” and said it discriminates against charities which use professional fundraising organisations.

The guidance on professional fundraising and commercial participation was published last week by the Office of the Third Sector (OTS) in advance of legislation coming into force on 1 April.  The new regulations mean paid fundraisers must declare up-front how much of each donation goes to charity and how much they are paid.

The law applies to anybody being paid to raise money, and will affect street and door-to-door fundraisers and telephone collectors, as well as shops that donate a portion of the sale of a product to charity. It does not affect volunteer fundraisers.

Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of the Institute, said the suggested declarations in the guidance discriminated against those charities that used professional fundraising organisations and favoured organisations that rely on volunteers.

“The declaration is such an enormous mouthful that I think many groups, or many charities, would try and maximise their volunteering use.”

Boswell said time would tell how fundraisers used the declarations, but that a potential impact could be third-party fundraising becoming less successful.

He added that the changes will not have been on the horizon for many charities, who may find themselves caught out when the legislation comes into force.

“If there is a large area of activity planned for the near future, but post-1 April, then the need for retraining of staff, both within the charity and within the professional fundraising organisation, is really quite considerable. I think what we want to see is some sort of understanding around enforcement of the regulation in its early stages.”

Boswell admitted there was a danger the Institute’s criticism could appear to reject the principles of openness and transparency, but that this “couldn’t be further from the case”.

“What we’re being critical of is not the guidance itself, it’s the original legislation.” 

Boswell also raised concerns about the short timescale for fundraisers, and highlighted that a consultation on the guidance closes on 31 May, two months after the legislation comes into force. He blamed this on a “lack of resource” in the OTS, which he said had not made the fundraising sections of the Charities Act a priority.

However, a spokeswoman for the OTS said the claim the timing was down to resources was “entirely unfounded” and said the date was deliberately set to ensure fundraisers’ experiences were taken into account in the final draft.

“The guidance is simply there to help, it is not mandatory. The law, which is mandatory, was passed two years ago which should have been adequate time for fundraisers to prepare.”

Stefan Lipa, chair of the Association of Fundraising Consultants, said that although the OTS had tried to make the examples contained in the Act as “crystal clear as possible”, he thought many fundraisers didn’t even realise the law had changed.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Tags

Free eNews

DFID announces UK's first development impact bond

17 Apr 2014

The UK is to launch the first development impact bond - an international version of the social impact...

Sector 'extraordinarily disconnected' from public, CFG chair says

15 Apr 2014

Charities are becoming “extraordinarily disconnected” from donors and supporters who do not understand...

Stephen Frost announced as Charity Awards host

15 Apr 2014

Civil Society Media is delighted to announce that this year's Charity Awards will be presented by actor...

Paula Sussex to be the next Charity Commission chief executive

17 Apr 2014

Paula Sussex, senior vice president, public sector of CGI, has been appointed the new chief executive...

Impact of welfare reforms felt by 95 per cent of Yorkshire charities

17 Apr 2014

A report published today which looks at the impact of welfare reforms in the region of Yorkshire and Humber...

Trussell Trust sees use of its foodbanks 'almost triple' in a year

16 Apr 2014

The number of people using the Trussell Trust’s foodbanks rose from 347,000 to 913,000 in a single year,...

'Technology can offer charities more than just online donations'

10 Apr 2014

Charities are focusing too much on using digital tools for fundraising instead of how technology can be...

Amnesty calls for 'full and frank disclosure' on alleged US surveillance

9 Apr 2014

Amnesty International has warned that alleged mass surveillance by the American intelligence agency NSA...

Virgin Money Giving launches app following year of growth

1 Apr 2014

Virgin Money Giving has launched an app for users after reporting that 30 per cent of traffic to its platform...

Join the discussion

Twitter button

@CSFundraising