The Fundraising Regulator has officially launched today and will now take over the responsibility of regulating charity fundraising activity from the FRSB.
At an official launch event held in London today, Lord Michael Grade, interim chair, and Stephen Dunmore, interim chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator set out the organisations vision for how it will work with the sector moving forward.
As part of the launch, the Regulator has said that 45 of the 50 top fundraising charities in the UK based on income spent on raising funds, have now agreed to support the new regulator with funding for its start up costs.
The Fundraising Regulator has also today announced that it has entered a formal Memorandum of Understanding with the Charity Commission, which formalises the wider charity regulator’s role as a ‘regulatory backstop’ to the organisation.
The MoU was officially signed after presentations by Stephen Dunmore and Paula Sussex, chief executive of the Charity Commission.
The regulator have today published the full complaints process for members of the public looking to complain about charity fundraising on its website.
Rob Wilson, minister for civil society, who spoke at the launch, said that the new Fundraising Regulator was an important step for the sector towards improving public trust and confidence in charitable fundraising.
“I have always been clear that unethical fundraising practices have to be stamped out. The new Fundraising Regulator is working hard with the sector to protect vulnerable and older people and I urge charities to sign up.
“This country is a generous nation and I want the giving public to have the trust and confidence to support the causes that matter most to them for many years to come.”
Lord Grade, who also spoke at the event, said: “The damage to public confidence experienced by charities affects the whole sector. No regulator can be effective without the confidence of the public and the support of the sector it regulates. Many charities have accepted that things must change and that they can be instrumental in leading that change”.
Grade also put on record his thanks to the former regulator – the Fundraising Standards Board – for its previous work regulating the sector.
Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said that it felt like "decades ago" that he and the three Lords who made up the independent review into fundraising began, even though it has only been a year.
Etherington said this was "a start and a good start in a critical area for charities: fundraising" and praised the work of Dunmore, Grade and Gerald Oppenheim, head of policy at the Fundraising Regulator, for getting the organisation up and running so quickly.
Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, said that handing over the setting of the Codes of Fundraising Practice freed them to "champion fundraising best practice" in a way it couldn't before.
Scottish fundraising complaints line also launches today
The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations has today launched its own independent complaints line for donors about charitable fundraising, to coincide with the launch of the Fundraising Regulator in England and Wales.
Scottish Fundraising Complaints, which has been set up in tandem by SCVO and by OSCR, the Scottish charity regulator, will give “all the information the public need to resolve any concerns about a charity’s fundraising practice”.
The line has been launched as part of a push to “help maintain trust and confidence in Scotland’s fundraising charities”.
The line is part of a new complaints hub which has been set up in Scotland, after SCVO and the Scottish government chose not to become a part of the Fundraising Regulator.
An independent board is being set up that will sit alongside the Fundraising Regulator in a “co-regulatory” arrangement for at least the next 12 months.