Practical Fundraising Association to launch Good Fundraising Code

Howard Lake | 20 January 2009 | News

Good Fundraising Code logo

The Practical Fundraising Association will next month launch the Good Fundraising Code for charities and voluntary organisations that wish to demonstrate their commitment to good fundraising practice. There is no membership fee or charge to use the code’s logo.
Charities that wish to participate must sign up to confirm that they agree in principle with four simple statements that cover honesty, transparency, abiding by legal requirements and best practice, and having a complaints procedure for supporters.
Any charity where a member of the public provides evidence of a breach will not be permitted to use the code.
The Practical Fundraising Association set up the code in response to comments from smaller charities that they could not afford the membership fees of the Fund Raising Standards Board. They were worried that causes that did not pay a fee to subscribe to other codes might be perceived as ‘second class’ or ‘lower standard’ in donors’ eyes.
Gareth Edwards of the Practical Fundraising Association said he was concerned that the public might discern a two-tier system: “It is important… that there is not a price tag on charities to be seen to follow best practice and be honest and transparent with their supporters”.
He was worried that the public “will feel that a charity is somehow less worthy if it does not have a paid-for mark on its fundraising materials. Tiny causes with under £100,000 income in this climate will feel pressured into yet another fee when in actual fact they are doing nothing wrong”.
He argued that “it is more important to have some pledge from causes who would struggle to pay a fee to aim for good practice than leave anyone who does not pay totally out in the cold and feeling looked down on”.
Sam Wilson of the Fund-raising Standards Board commented: “It’s important that all charities, large or small, can assure their supporters and potential supporters that they fundraise to the highest standards and that they can donate to them with confidence. Membership of the Fundraising Standards Board does exactly that.
“We are particularly conscious of the needs of small charities which is why we set and have maintained an annual £30 membership fee for smaller fundraising organisations with voluntary income up to £10k and for those with a voluntary income of between £11k – £50k it’s £50 and for income of £51 – £100k, a fee of £75”.
Wilson added: “The PFA is right to be concerned that its members should demonstrate their commitment to good fundraising practice but membership of the FRSB which runs the Government backed UK wide self-regulation scheme, is the best way to do this and will not run the risk of confusing the public.
“We would be happy to meet with the PFA to discuss how we can work together to ensure that the public can give to all charities with confidence, whether small or large”.
The Good Fundraising Code will be launched on 12 February 2009. Meanwhile the PFA welcomes comments from the sector to influence its development and from charities and consultants who would like to help with the review and appeal process.