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Fundraising self-regulation comes under Charities Act Review

08 Mar 2012 News

Lord Hodgson has called for evidence on fundraising self-regulation and the public collections regime as part of his review of the Charities Act 2006.

Lord Hodgson has called for evidence on fundraising self-regulation and the public collections regime as part of his review of the Charities Act 2006.

The call for evidence on the whether self-regulation of fundraising has been successful or requires any changes, alongside calls for views on the public collections regime and the dealing with complaints about charities went live on the Cabinet Office website on Friday, but no public push for the evidence went out.

In regard to self-regulation, the call states: “The Charities Act 2006 Review is considering whether the self-regulation of fundraising has been a success, and what changes (if any) are needed to strengthen public trust and confidence in charity fundraising. The Review is also looking at the requirements that apply to professional fundraisers and commercial charity promotions to determine whether the rules are operating effectively, providing sufficient transparency to enable the public to make informed decisions.”

It goes on to ask for evidence about whether measures such as the introduction of solicitation statements have done their job in increasing transparency around fundraising and whether any further regulation is required.

The 2006 Act also made provisions for the introduction of a licensing regime for public collections, but this has never been implemented. Lord Hodgson (pictured) is now asking charities for their views on whether or how to regulate these collections – including cash and door-to-door collections – in the future.

Lord Hodgson’s call for evidence on the issue admits that concerns about the effectiveness and affordability of such a regime have stymied the progress of establishing a licensing system.

It concedes that these issues have increased and new concerns added, rather than gone away; “Affordability is now even more of an issue, given the reduced resources available to both the Charity Commission and local licensing authorities. The 2006 Act regime would also remove certain powers from local licensing authorities, which may run counter to the Government’s localism agenda.”

The Fundraising Standards Board has welcomed the review into self-regulation.

Alistair McLean, chief executive of the FRSB, said that the organisation has made “huge strides” in establishing self-regulation in fundraising.

“We have recently consulted our members and their feedback will form the basis of our recommendations to Lord Hodgson for what changes could be made to strengthen and grow the current model. It is crucial that anyone with a strong view about self-regulation of fundraising gets involved and makes their views heard,” he said.

An FRSB spokeswoman said that a review of fundraising self-regulation as included in the 2006 Act was always on the cards for Lord Hodgson’s review, and that it had been expecting calls for evidence to be made on the subject.

Submissions of evidence must be received by Cabinet Office by 16 April, 2012. 

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