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Scotland rejects Fundraising Regulator for stronger self-regulation

Melanie May | 4 July 2016 | News

The Fundraising Regulator will not have a role in Scotland when it opens for business this week, with Scottish charities opting for enhanced self-regulation instead.
A new independent panel comprising members of the public, donors, charities, fundraisers, OSCR and the Scottish Government, will be convened to develop a set of standards for all charities that set a higher bar for fundraising in Scotland.
A new Freephone fundraising complaints line and website will also be set up to provide guidance to members of the public on how to raise complaints.
The move follows an extensive period of consultation with the third sector in Scotland and the public, led by the Scottish Fundraising Working Group. This was convened by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) earlier this year to find a solution to the need for a new system of fundraising self-regulation identified in the SCVO’s review of fundraising regulation in Scotland, reported in the autumn of 2015.
The Working Group presented three potential options for the future of charity fundraising in Scotland in its consultation with industry professionals and the public:
1) Adopting the UK-wide Fundraising Regulator as an intermediary between the public and charities.
2) Setting up a new Scottish Fundraising Regulator as an intermediary.
3) No intermediary: charities in Scotland and OSCR take on an enhanced role in regulating fundraising.
The consultation identified resounding support for option three. As a result, The Working Group has recommended this option to the Scottish Government as the model that should be followed, with the further recommendation that the regulation of cross-border charities uses a lead regulator model. This recognises that charities operating in Scotland but registered in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are answerable to the Fundraising Regulator, which replaces the Fundraising Standards Board on 7th July.
Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities Angela Constance said:

“The Scottish Government welcomes this report. The extensive consultation that has been carried out indicates the clear support to continue with self-regulation of charity fundraising. What is needed is a more robust approach which is easier for everyone to understand and encourages charities to adhere to good fundraising practice, which is why we welcome the proposal to introduce a new online and phone complaints approach so that everyone in Scotland knows who to contact and be informed of what to do if they have a complaint about charity. We will consider and respond to the rest of the recommendations in due course.”



Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.