The Fundraising Standards Board needs to attract “many more organisations” according to Minister for the Third Sector Phil Hope.
Speaking in response to the FRSB’s first annual review, Hope said that he was confident it had the potential to succeed. “However, many more organisations will need to join in the coming year to convince us that the sector has the will to fully embrace self-regulation and make it work. The alternative, as set out in the Charities Act, would be statutory regulation,” he said.
Figures show that FRSB members – currently just over 860 – dealt with 8434 complaints to the year ending in February 2008. Just four were referred to stage 2 of the FRSB’s complaints procedure and one to stage 3.
Thirty one per cent of complaints concerned direct mail, 21 per cent data protection issues, 21 per cent telephone fundraising and 13 per cent face-to-face fundraising. Escalated complaints dealt with direct mail, telephone fundraising and legacy fundraising.
Chief executive of the FRSB Jon Scourse said it had never expected a huge number of complaints to get past the charities’ own complaints procedures. “You don’t judge the Fire Brigade on how many fires it attends,” he said. “You judge it on its fire prevention and how efficiently it deals with fires when it’s called out. This is a good analogy for the FRSB”
The Board will be launching a new drive for membership later in the year and still hopes to achieve its target of between 4,000 and 5,000 members to make it self-funding. Scourse said he thought there were still many charities who intended to join but “hadn’t quite got around to it yet.”