IoF chief executive 'saddened and frustrated' by Lord Grade comments

04 Jul 2017 News

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, has said he is “deeply saddened and frustrated” by the way Lord Grade talked about fundraisers. 

In an article published in the Telegraph today, Lord Grade, chair of the Fundraising Regulator, said some charities were being too slow to adopt new fundraising methods. 

He said: “Too many charities are proving to be laggards. But they will have to follow suit, whether they like it or not, due to another new regulation [GDPR] which comes into force next year.”

This morning he appeared on radio and television programmes, where he incorrectly explained elements how the new Fundraising Preference Service would work. 

It is the latest in a long line of critical comments from Grade about fundraisers prompting Lewis to issue a statement today saying that Grade was “misrepresenting” the profession. 

Lewis said: “Fundraisers are passionate people who work tirelessly to make a difference every day. Charities are there on the frontline when crises strike, providing the safety net when society needs it the most. But they can only do that with the generosity and support of the millions of people who give their time and money to help others. 

“That’s why I am deeply frustrated and saddened to again hear Lord Grade talking this morning about the fundraising community in a negative way, misrepresenting how the overwhelming majority of charities communicate with and value their supporters.” 

‘We support the regulatory system’ 

Lewis added that for its members the relationship with donors is “paramount” and that the public need to understand how the new system will work. 

“We know that our members’ relationships with donors is paramount, which is why over the last year charities have supported the set-up of the Regulator and helped to shape the FPS,” he said. 

But stressed that it is important that the public understands how the new system works. 

He said: “We fully support a strong regulatory system. However, for any non-statutory system to succeed, it is vital that clarity prevails over confusion.

“Only then can the regulator fully command the trust of both charities and the public. Ahead of Thursday’s launch of the FPS it is essential that the public hear the right information about the service so that the levels of public trust and confidence that Lord Grade wants to see can be achieved.”


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