Fundraising Regulator ‘needs to improve and stabilise its funding stream’

10 Jan 2019 News

The Fundraising Regulator has said that it “needs to improve and stabilise its funding stream” to carry out its role effectively, in accounts recently published. 

Its overall income for the year ending March 2018 was £1.98m. This is still below the amount that the cross-party review recommended it needs, which is between £2m and £2.4m. 

But the regulator has operated within its budget and managed to grow its reserves slightly by around £200,000.

The regulator has published accounts for the year to 31 March 2018 and the five months to 31 August 2018. It has changed its year-end to bring it in line with the collection of the Fundraising Levy period which starts 1 September. 

Both sets of accounts warn of the need for the regulator to improve its financial stability. 

“The regulator needs to improve and stabilise its funding stream from the levy and registration payments in 2018/19 so that it can carry out its regulatory tasks effectively,” the regulator says. 

Both reports also say that there are around 100 charities that have not paid the fundraising levy for either the first or second year. 

“These charities are now clearly marked on the Public Register (now termed as a directory on the new website) as being non-payers,” the regulator says. “We will continue to do all we can to convince these charities about the advantages of signing up to the Code and to pay our levy.” 

Reserves reach £500,000

The Fundraising Regulator’s reserves policy says it aims to have between three and six months’ expenditure, which is £400,000 to £700,000. 

At the end of August its reserves had reached nearly £500,000. This is double what it had in its 2016/17 accounts when it held £244,000. 

In the March 2018 accounts it warned that there was “limited funding available to fully establish an adequate reserve”, while acknowledging that is only just raising enough income for its “business as usual” activity. 

Income and spending for year to 31 March 2018

The accounts for the year to 31 March show that the regulator had a total income of £1.98m. This increase of over £400,000 from the previous year when its income was £1.54m. 

Most of its income is derived from the levy on charities, but it also raised £62,000 from voluntary registrations by smaller charities and commercial fundraising companies. It also earned £245,000 from investments. 

Overall, it spent £1.78m, just below its budget of £1.8m. The largest item of expenditure was the Fundraising Preference Service, which cost £455,000. 

Other items include £232,000 on finance and the levy, £201,000 on policy and communications, and £186,000 on casework.

The full accounts are on the regulator’s website

Income and spending for five months to 31 August 2018

In this period the regulator’s income was £923,000, with £863,000 in levy payments and £59,000 in registration income. 

The regulator spent £877,000. It did not publish a budget for the five-month period and has not produced a breakdown of its spending in the same way as in the full year, but indicated that it would do this for the next full year. 

It also said that the running costs for the FPS had fallen during the period. 

“Following contractual negotiations we were able to reduce the annual running costs of the FPS to just over £310,000 per year, including both the web application and call centre support service. These savings will apply from the 2018/2019 financial year,” it said.

The full accounts are available on the regulator’s website.

Civil Society Media's Fundraising Live event takes place on 7 February and will focus on the issue of diversity. See what's on the programme and book online. 




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