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IoF appoints first independent Chair of its Standards Committee

IoF appoints first independent Chair of its Standards Committee

The (IoF) has appointed Suzanne McCarthy as the first Independent Chair of its Standards Committee, the body that sets the rules for fundraising.

McCarthy is the first independent lay member to join Standards Committee. She will soon be joined by three other independent lay members, in an attempt by the IoF Board “to further ensure that the voice of the public and donors sits alongside that of fundraisers and the charity sector in setting the standards for fundraising”.

The decision to appoint lay members followed the debate about some fundraising methods and use of some donors’ personal data generated by sustained coverage in The Daily Mail.

About Standards Committee

The Institute’s Standards Committee meets four times a year to oversee the development and revision of the Code of Fundraising Practice. It exists “to promote and protect the highest standards of professional practice by identifying elements of fundraising practice requiring Code of Fundraising Practice and facilitating the development and maintenance of the Code”.

It is currently chaired by Tanya Steele, Director of Marketing, Fundraising & Communications at Save the Children.

Committee meetings are also attended by observers representing the Office for Civil Society, Charity Commission, the Fundraising Standards Board, and the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association.

Extensive public sector and governance experience

McCarthy has held a number of senior public sector roles, including as Immigration Services Commissioner and Chief Executive of both the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Before that she worked as a solicitor in private practice and was a lecturer in Law at the University of Manchester.

She was previously a member of the General Medical Council, the Royal Institute of Architects, the Public Guardian Board and the Pensions Regulator’s Determination Panel.

Named in Cranfield University’s Female FTSE 100 Women to Watch lists of 2014 and 2015, she is a member of the Advertising Standards Authority, and of the Boards of the University of London, the Human Tissue Authority, the Senet Group, and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ UK and Ireland Regulatory Board. She is the Independent Appointed Person for the Greater London Authority.

She is Chairman of both Depaul UK, the youth homeless charity, and of the General Chiropractic Council.

On her appointment, McCarthy, said:

“I am honoured to take on the responsibility of chairing Fundraising’s Standards Committee at a time when the practices and standards around fundraising are under such scrutiny.

“Charities need to retain the confidence and respect of the public, especially when asking for donations and support. I see it as my role as the new independent chair of Standards Committee to continue to drive the development of fundraising standards which balances the needs of charities to raise money for their causes with the public’s desire to have a good experience when they give. I look forward to working with my fellow Committee members achieve this.”

Richard Taylor, Chair of the Institute of Fundraising, said:

“It is crucial that the voice of donors and the public is heard alongside that of fundraisers as the standards for charity fundraising are reviewed and strengthened.

“We hope that the overall composition of Standards Committee, comprising the essential insight of fundraisers; the views of our self-regulatory partners; legal and consumer expertise; input from the public; all under Suzanne McCarthy’s leadership, will enable us to react more quickly both to changes in fundraising practice and to public opinion”.

He added:

“We hope that by refreshing the way we set these standards we can ensure the best balance between the duty of charities to fundraise on behalf of their beneficiaries with the need for them to maintain public trust and confidence as they do so.”


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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