The Fundraising Regulator has today published its revised Code of Fundraising Practice, with substantive changes being made in six areas of the document.
The Fundraising Regulator published the revised Code of Fundraising Practice this morning, highlighting the six “key areas” where it has added new requirements regarding: trustees, the fundraising ask, solicitation statements, whistleblowing, charity collection bags and agreements and monitoring of third party fundraising agencies.
The regulator said that while it is publishing its revised code today, fundraising charities will be given a grace period of “between two and four months to implement some of the changes”.
The fundraising watchdog also published a summary of responses to the consultation it held over changes to the code, which launched in February, as well as a timeline for implementing the changes and the results of “research with members of the public across the UK”.
Commenting on the changes, Suzanne McCarthy, chair of the regulator’s standards committee, said: “The revised code is the outcome of six months of consultation with the sector and discussion with the public, striking a better balance for all on crucial fundraising issues. A strong code encourages public trust and confidence in giving and helps charities to fundraise more effectively.”
Steph Siddall, policy manager at the Institute of Fundraising, said: “The changes to the code announced today are welcome and will make a positive difference to the way charities raise money for their vital work. They come off the back of a wide consultation with the fundraising profession and we are very glad that many of the sector’s comments and suggestions have been taken on board.
“The changes today reflect what many of our members already consider the norm in excellent fundraising. By including these in the code we can ensure best practice and high standards across the entire fundraising profession.”
Changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice
According to the revised Code, trustees now “MUST have regard to national guidance in overseeing the fundraising activities of their charity and any third party fundraising on the charity’s behalf”.
The final wording of the code also removes the previous bullet points outlining the detail of CC20, and includes wording highlighting what charities without a board of trustees should do and amending wording around CC Northern Ireland’s Running your charity document.
The General Principles section of the code has been amended in relation to the fundraising ask, with the regulator stipulating that the wording around asking for support “should be extended to incorporate” people in vulnerable circumstances.
Solicitation statements “MUST be made either before money is given by the donor or before and financial details relevant to the transaction are requested by the fundraiser”, although the Fundraising Regulator did not rule out further changes to the code in future.
The regulator did not feel the need to make changes to the wording of the code in regards to vulnerable people, as it felt the existing guidance gave “sufficient clarity to fundraisers” on the issue. The regulator slightly changed the wording of the rule around distributing charity bags.
The regulator announced in June it had inserted a number of new requirements into the code in regards to the Fundraising Preference Service.
Timescale for implementation of changes
The regulator have also published a timescale of when the revisions and proposed changes will come into effect. Some of the changes will be implemented immediately while others won’t come into force until 30 November this year.
Over 200 responses to Code consultation
The regulator said it received 225 responses to its Code consultation, 199 of which were complete. 183 of those responses came from named organisations.
According to the regulator “36 respondents classified themselves as individuals while 129 identified their response to be on behalf of a charity”.
Fundraising managers and staff were the most prominently represented role of the collective respondents, making up around 36 per cent of the total.