Fundraising Regulator launches new website as it publishes annual review 

18 Jul 2018 News

The Fundraising Regulator has today launched a new website as it publishes its second annual review, declaring that it has had a “really positive year”. 

Its website has a new strapline: "Ethical fundraising, sustainable giving".

The website still includes links to the regulator’s guidance, the Code of Fundraising Practice and the enables people to use the Fundraising Preference Service, and aims to be clearer and easier to use for both members of the public and fundraisers. 

Speaking at the Fundraising Regulator's annual meeting in London today, Gerald Oppenheim, new chief executive of the regulator, said: "We really hope you find the new website much easier to use than the old one, which really just grew as we developed over two years and threw everything into it. It became overloaded and it was becoming hard to find what everybody might want to look for."

The regulator said it also plans to launch a review of the code with a view to making that clearer and more accessible later in the year. 

Income reaches £1.95m

The Fundraising Regulator’s income for 2017/18 was £1.95m and its expenditure £1.82m, according to unaudited figures published in its annual review today. 

The vast majority of its income came from payment of the fundraising levy. It received £866,000 in year one levy payments and £952,000 from year two levy payments. It also received £80,000 from agencies registering with it and £50,000 from charities registering. 

This means it has nearly reached the £1.96m that it previously said it needs to operate. The regulator intends to publish its full accounts later this year. It is also looking at bringing its levy payment and accounting year in line. 

Oppenheim said the Fundraising regulator would be "changing our financial year to make sure it aligns in future with the levy year, which starts in September. So we'll also publish a very short five month set of accounts for April to the end of August, also in the autumn". 

Lord Grade, also speaking at the same event, said 105 charities have ignored requests for payment and 26 have outright refused to pay. 

He said this amounts to around 7 per cent of its anticipated income and that it is “neither fair nor in the spirit of the agreement” reached by the sector and the government at the time. 

This time in 2017 around 400 charities had refused to pay the levy, while 219 had been wrongly invoiced and 155 charities were in discussions with the regulator. 

FPS biggest single expenditure 

Figures published today also show that the Fundraising Preference Service is the regulator’s largest cost. It spent £475,000 on the service in 2917/18. Of this total figure, £360,000 has been spent on the first year of its running costs, while £115,000 was spent on start up costs.

A spokesman for the regulator said it "hoped to get the annual running cost figure down to around £300,000 in the future". 

The regulator also spent £186,000 on casework and adjudications, £201,000 on policy and communications, £236,000 on finance and levy, £134,000 on board and governance and £149,000 on public engagement. 

20 per cent increase in complaints 

The Fundraising Regulator also also said that it had seen a 20 per cent increase in the number of complaints, receiving 1,101 in total. 

Speaking at the event, Oppenheim said the regulator had resolved 1,101 of these complaints and had closed 55 investigations. Of these investigations, he said "81 per cent of these were dealing with cases where there was a code breach and the complaint had been upheld". 

“The highest numbers of breaches we identified were related to poor complaint handling or a failure to properly monitor third parties adequately,” said Oppenheim.  

Despite saying last year that it was reviewing its complaints report and would not publish another one until 2019, the regulator today indicated it would publish some form of complaints report later in the year. Sarah Fox, head of casework at the regulator, said the report would "most likely be published in September". 

Additional reporting by Hugh Radojev

For more news, interviews, opinion and analysis about charities and the voluntary sector sign up to receive the Civil Society News daily bulletin here



More on