Share

Single public-facing self-regulatory scheme is needed for fundraising, says Hodgson

FRSB tick logo
News

Single public-facing self-regulatory scheme is needed for fundraising, says Hodgson

Fundraising | Tania Mason | 16 Jul 2012

The sector’s fundraising bodies must put aside their vested interests and find a way to build a single self-regulatory body covering all aspects of fundraising, Lord Hodgson has warned.

In his recommendations to the government on fundraising, Lord Hodgson said greater clarity was needed on the roles and remits of the Institute of Fundraising, FRSB, and PFRA in relation to self-regulation.

Effective self-regulation is preferable to statutory regulation, he said, but existing efforts by the sector have now plateaued and need new impetus. A “simple, donor-focused self-regulatory scheme with a single point of entry for the public” remains elusive.

“To date the sector has tended to dance around these issues; I believe strongly that it is now time to tackle them head-on,” Hodgson said. “All sides will need to work together much better and make concessions if self-regulation is to succeed.

“This is not an easy challenge, but if the sector fails to address it, self-regulation will ultimately fail.”

FRSB 'not enough members'

He said the FRSB had met nearly all of its 12 criteria, but the low number of charities signed up as members (fewer than 1,500 out of 45,000 estimated fundraising charities) is its greatest weakness.

In order for it to be a more proactive regulator, it needs to significantly expand its member base and grow its income.

However, Lord Hodgson ruled out making FRSB membership compulsory, for the time being anyway. Instead he mooted various levers that might increase membership, such as making it a condition of licensing charity collections and educating funders to check for FRSB membership. The Charity Commission must also develop a closer relationship with the FRSB to encourage more charities to join it.

Regulation of face-to-face is ‘patchy’

Lord Hodgson also finally put paid to Charities Act 2006 proposals for a new licensing regime for public charitable collections administered by the Charity Commission, admitting it would be “unaffordable” and may not be effective.

However, it is very important that non-cash face-to-face fundraising is brought clearly within the regulatory scheme – currently its inclusion is “patchy and subject to debate”, despite being an activity that “causes no little public irritation when done badly”.

That said, the local authority voluntary site agreements instigated by the PFRA for street fundraising seemed to work well in addressing some issues of frequency and behaviour, and local authorities should not be able to ban face-to-face at will.

Lord Hodgson concluded: “The FRSB and sector umbrella bodies, assisted by the Cabinet Office and Charity Commission, need to address the confused self-regulatory landscape, and agree a division of responsibilities which provides clarity to the public and removes duplication.”

Standing committee chaired by the Cabinet Office

A standing committee should be formed, chaired by the Cabinet Office and comprising the Charity Commission, FRSB and Institute of Fundraising, to drive forward changes and monitor progress.  The PFRA, Charity Retail Association, and others should join for discussions around public charitable collections.

Within six months of accepting the recommendation, the sector must agree firm proposals to deliver the next stage of a "sector-funded, public-facing, central self-regulatory body covering all aspects of fundraising", he said.

The government should review the FRSB again in five years’ time, and the reserve power for government to regulate or require membership of the self-regulatory scheme “should remain a serious option if self-regulation stalls or fails to make sufficient progress”, Hodgson added.

FRSB reacts

The FRSB has responded to Lord Hodgson's report with chief executive Alistair McLean warmly welcoming the recommendations and agreeing that more collaboration between the FRSB, Institute of Fundraising and the PFRA is necessary:

"Lord Hodgson’s Review is a strong and positive step forward in ensuring the UK has a transparent and accountable charity sector underpinned by robust self-regulation, driving up standards and building public trust.

"The past five years have shown that there is a real appetite for self-regulation of fundraising, both within the charity sector and amongst the public. We welcome these new recommendations, which set out a clear path for strengthening the scheme, ensuring the public can give to the good causes they care about with confidence.

“The focus is on growing the sector’s commitment to self-regulation, with greater incentives for fundraising organisations to commit to the high standards required of FRSB membership and tighter sanctions for those that fail to comply. Establishing a Standing Committee to drive forward fundraising regulation is a key move that would accelerate change and ensure greater cohesion amongst regulators and trade bodies.

“The need to simplify the regulatory landscape for fundraising is clear and can only be achieved by more joined-up working with regulators within and beyond the sector, as well as the Institute of Fundraising as standards setter and the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association for face-to-face fundraising. We are committed to developing these relationships and will seek meetings with all relevant parties as soon as possible," said McLean

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.

Free eNews

Golden Lane Housing: Social investment can be 'absolutely the right thing' to do

24 Oct 2014

The director of Golden Lane Housing, the issuer of the first charity bond to be listed on the London Stock...

BeatBullying's technology CIC has not filed accounts with Companies House

22 Oct 2014

A software community interest company set up by the BeatBullying Group in 2012 is almost a year late filing...

Charity Commission to get £9m funding boost and new powers to tackle tax avoidance and terrorism

22 Oct 2014

The Charity Commission will receive £9m of extra funding over the next three years, as well as new powers...

Age UK spends £1.8m in latest round of redundancies

21 Oct 2014

Age UK spent £1.81m on 120 redundancies in 2014, on top of £1.17m last year, as part of a review of...

Stand Up To Cancer raises over £14.5m

21 Oct 2014

This weekend's Stand Up To Cancer event has raised over £14.5m so far, and that figure is continuing...

Charities 'must continue to fight for the right to influence policy'

20 Oct 2014

Civil society organisations must not give up the fight to influence policy and governments, the international...

BeatBullying's technology CIC has not filed accounts with Companies House

22 Oct 2014

A software community interest company set up by the BeatBullying Group in 2012 is almost a year late filing...

Blackbaud launches online giving platform for individual fundraisers

17 Oct 2014

Blackbaud has launched its online giving platform, everydayhero, for fundraisers in the UK in a bid to...

Don't dismiss social media 'slacktivists', fundraisers told at IFC

16 Oct 2014

Charities should embrace and love charity ‘slacktivists’ because social is a great ramp for new donors,...

Join the discussion

Twitter
 
Training

Attending our one day courses is a highly effective way of ensuring new and existing trustees fully understand their role, responsibilities and liabilities.

>> Find out more <<