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Smaller charities unfamiliar with fundraising changes

Smaller charities unfamiliar with fundraising changes

Many smaller charities remain unfamiliar with the Etherington Review and how changes to fundraising practices will affect them, according to a joint survey by the Institute of Fundraising and the Coalition.

The findings were released at the IoF and Small Charities Coalition forum on 4th February, which was attended by Stephen Dunmore, chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator, and George Kidd, chair of the Fundraising Preference Service.

45% report being ‘not very familiar’ or ‘not at all familiar’ with the review, although 46% say the issues of public trust and confidence seen since last summer had resulted in ‘some’ or ‘a great impact’ on their organisation.

There is however a general agreement that stronger sanctions are needed, with 52% believing that the new regulator should be able to stop fundraising activity with ‘cease and desist’ orders and 43% for the issuing of compulsory training orders.

Many feel concern over a Fundraising Preference Service however: 59% thought it will lead to ‘more administration, and 59% higher suppression costs. 54% thought they would have to train staff to check contacts, and more thought that it would result in fewer donations (40%) than an improved public image (29%).

Opinions were almost even on the subject of funding the new regulator, with 38% thinking that it should be paid for by charities that fundraise from the public and spend more than £100,000 on fundraising, and 34% thinking that the Government should foot the bill.

On the subject of greater oversight by trustees, 72% felt that their trustees already play a clear role in, or contribute to and set strategy for fundraising, while a fifth thought that increased trustee involvement would have a significant impact on their organisation.

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the IoF, said:

“These results drive home the importance of involving and informing smaller charities about the changes taking place. Fundraisers working in smaller charities perform amazing work, often with very limited resources, and so it is really important that the views of the whole of the fundraising sector are heard on these issues.”

Stephen Dunmore, chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator, added:

“As we work to establish a new fundraising regulator, it’s essential that we hear and take on board views across the full range of fundraising organisations. Smaller charities make up the vast majority of the charities in the UK and have a significant role to play in helping to shape and inform the working practices of the new regulator.”

Download the full small charities survey from the IoF site.

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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