Regulator reports 25% rise in fundraising concerns raised

20 Apr 2023 News

Chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator, Gerald Oppenheim.

The Fundraising Regulator has reported that the number of concerns raised with around charities’ fundraising activity has risen by 20-25% on the year.

Speaking at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Charities and Volunteering yesterday, chief executive Gerald Oppenheim said the regulator was “increasingly busy” and that he had seen a rise in the number of fraudulent fundraising pages set up.

Oppenheim also said the regulator’s planned levy increase would likely be introduced in September 2024, with details of the price rise set to be revealed in December this year.

Increase in complaints

“We find that one of our core functions around casework has shown a 20 to 25% increase in incoming concerns to us, whether or not we investigate them,” said Oppenheim yesterday.

“And that's probably due to increased awareness of what we do. But it shows that the public is engaged and concerned with how charities raise money.”

The regulator told Civil Society it had closed “almost 700 cases” since September last year, “a 19% increase on the same period in 2021-22, when we closed just over 580 cases”.

It previously reported a 24% increase in 2021-22, when it closed 1,037 cases, on the year before.

‘Rise in fraudulent fundraising pages’

Oppenheim said at the same event: “We’ve also seen recently a rise in the number of fake fraudulence fundraising pages, which seek to take advantage of people’s generosity.

“We’ve all seen a rise in the increased use of fundraising for personal resources, such as personal medical expenses, or other needs, which of course we don’t regulate, because they’re for private benefit, not public benefit. They’re not charitable, even with a small ‘c’.

“Many personal fundraising appeals are genuine but we know that the environment is sadly ripe for fraudulent activity.”

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