Fundraising Regulator announces new rules for online platforms 

07 Jun 2018 News

The Fundraising Regulator has published new rules and guidance for online fundraising platforms, such as JustGiving, requiring them to be more transparent. 

A public consultation took place earlier this year to inform the new standards, which are now reflected in the Code of Fundraising Practice

The code changes mean that online fundraising platforms will have to meet the same levels of transparency as other organisations associated with giving.  

Platforms have until the end of August 2018 to implement any necessary changes. 

The Fundraising Regulator has published guidance for platforms setting out what it expects from them.

It has also published separate guidance for the public who raise funds on these platforms to prevent people from inadvertently breaching the code, help them understand what to expect and how to identify fraudulent pages. 

Stephen Dunmore, chief executive of the regulator, said: “There was a very generous public response to the high-profile incidents in London and Manchester in 2017 but in some cases, questions were raised about how the money raised through crowdfunding pages would reach the people that donors wanted to help where they had not named a charity to receive the donations. We have worked collaboratively with the online platforms to update our code and develop guidance to ensure fundraising through these channels is transparent and lawful.

“We are confident that the updates to the code will continue to ensure public trust in online platforms and encourage donors to give confidently.”

Daniel Fluskey, head of policy and research at the Institute of Fundraising, said: “Ensuring that the public have the right information when they make donations, or set up fundraising pages, is really important so we are glad to see the Fundraising Regulator update the code and provide guidance to platforms on the information that should be provided.”

“We hope that these changes will enable online fundraising to continue to grow and maintain confidence in giving through fundraising platforms.”

Code changes

The code says that the regulator “encourages” platforms to register with it, but doesn't explicitly compel them to. 

It requires platforms to make it clear about their fees and how they are calculated. It also says that platforms must provide good practice guidance for fundraisers and link to the regulator’s guidance for the public. 

Guidance produced by the platforms must make fundraisers aware of the difference between raising money for a charity to use as it sees fit and raising money for a particular purpose. If it’s the latter then platforms must tell fundraisers to contact the charity to ensure that they want the money. 

Fundraising platforms must also comply with data protection and other relevant laws. 

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