The four largest fundraising platforms have promised to sign up to the Fundraising Regulator and comply with changes aimed at them in the Code of Fundraising Practice, by early next year, the regulator has said.
Speaking to Fundraising Magazine, published by Civil Society Media, last week, Gerald Oppenheim, the chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator, said that he was confident that platforms such as JustGiving, Virgin Money Giving, GoFundMe and BT MyDonate would all register with it “probably by the New Year”.
The Fundraising Regulator held a digital giving summit with 14 platforms in September 2017. It subsequently reached out to some 20 platforms and had originally hoped they would all register before the end of last summer.
Commercial suppliers to the charity sector can register with the Fundraising Regulator and appear in its directory as way to demonstrate compliance with the Code of Fundraising Practice and are charged a £50 annual fee.
Earlier this year the regulator announced new rules for online platforms, requiring them to be more transparent.
This summer Lord Grade, chair of the regulator, warned that if fundraising platforms did not voluntarily sign up to the Fundraising Regulator in the autumn then the government could step in to statutorily regulate this part of the sector.
A number of smaller platforms have already registered, but the big four platforms were granted an extension to the deadline.
Oppenheim said this is because “they need to make quite a number of system changes to comply with the Code of Fundraising Practice and the questions of transparency that raised”.
A spokesperson for the regulator later clarified that the four platforms also had “other regulatory clearance” requirements, citing Virgin Money Giving’s being part of Virgin Bank and BT MyDonate being part of a large corporate.
Oppenheim also told BBC Radio Five that the big four digital giving platforms had committed to registering with the Fundraising Regulator during an interview over the weekend.
Nine to ten currently registered
Oppenheim said that "probably nine, possibly ten" fundraising platforms are currently registered with the Fundraising Regulator, but the top priority was registering “the main platforms that people know”.
“People are setting up platforms all the time, so there will be an element of playing catch-up, but my concern, and indeed the government’s concern, is that the main platforms that people know and recognise, those four; JustGiving, Virgin Money, GoFundMe and BT MyDonate, are the ones who are committed to it.”
He added that being signed up with the regulator was a key way that platforms could protect their reputations.
“For us it’s about the public reputation that these platforms have. As commercial bodies, they’ll be as anxious as anybody to maintain and protect that reputation. If they don’t, there’s an arch-rival on another platform who could take advantage of that.”
The full interview with Gerald Oppenheim will appear in the November issue of Fundraising Magazine. Find out more about subscribing here.