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Fundraising Regulator received over 700 complaints in first year

06 Jul 2017 News

The Fundraising Regulator said it received 713 complaints in 2016/17 and has published eight decisions and one adjudication, in its annual review published today. 

It also inherited 11 "live" complaints from its predecessor, the Fundraising Standards Board. 

The regulator said that it passes complaints to charities, where the complainant had not first tried this route. 

In November it published its first adjudication into the now defunct agency, Neet Feet, and charities that had used its services. 

It has also issued eight decisions and published the findings as case studies on its website. The regulator upheld the complaint in seven of the eight cases. The summaries are all anonymised as those involved accepted the regulator’s recommendations. 

The Fundraising Regulator has also gathered data from fundraising charities about complaints and plans to publish a separate report, similar to the FRSB’s annual complaints review. 

It will also produce advice for charities about “key principles necessary for an effective complaints procedure”.  

Financial results

The Fundraising Regulator ended its first financial year with a surplus of £245,000, but warned that if it needs to “stabilise” its levy income to be sustainable, in its annual accounts published today.  

Its report confirmed that the regulator has struggled to get smaller charities to pay the levy and that if charities continue to refuse it will need to consider moving to a statutory model for the levy.

Total income for the 13 months to March 2017 show it had income of £1.5m and expenditure of £1.3m. 

Most of its income came from the levy and set-up donations, while it received £20,000 from charities that were below the levy threshold, but have paid £50 to sign up to the Fundraising Promise be able to use the regulator’s logo on its communications. 

The regulator plans to expand registration to fundraising businesses and agencies at a fee similar to that of the levy. 

“Optimistically we expect that income from registration will raise around £100k per year, so it is unlikely to fill the funding gap we have identified,” the report said.

Spend on FPS lower than expected 

The regulator had budgeted to spend £1.2m on setting up the Fundraising Preference Service, however it actually spent £228,000. 

It said that this was partly because of a “keen tender exercise”. 

“The initial views of the working group suggested that the FPS system development would cost £750,000, but, following a close examination of the requirements and a keen tender exercise, the FPS set-up has been achieved for an investment of around £200,000 in the financial year,” the report said.

It expects the annual running cost of the FPS to be around £459,000 to cover the call centre and website. 


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