Why your supporters are wealthier than you expect. Course details.

New Fundraising Regulator takes over from today

The Fundraising Regulator today takes over from the Fundraising Standards Board with the objective of “protecting donors to charities based in England and Wales”.

The voluntary, independent regulator of charitable fundraising in the UK aims to ensure that fundraising remains respectful, open, honest and accountable to the public.

Its establishment is part-funded by 45 of the largest charities in the UK, out of a total of 160,000+ charities.


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

It has been set up in six months following media, political and public concern about how some charities contacted existing and potential donors. It developed from recommendations made by the cross-party Review of fundraising regulation chaired by Sir Stuart Etherington in September 2015 following the public criticism.

From today the Fundraising Regulator is open to accepting complaints from members of the public. At the same time it takes responsibility for the Code of Fundraising Practice which has been built and developed by the Institute of Fundraising for the past 20 years or so. It also assumes responsibility of the Public Fundraising Rule Books from the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association.

A full complaints process is now available on the Fundraising Regulator’s website, together with a discussion paper on its proposed funding model of a levy and registration, which was published online on 22 June 2016 and will remain open for comment until 22 July.  The Board will meet on 13 July to agree on how the proposed Fundraising Preference Service will work, which will be the subject of another discussion paper published during the summer.

The Fundraising Preference Service, which was also proposed by the Etherington review, is to be launched later this year.

Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson MP said:

“The new Fundraising Regulator is working hard with the sector to protect vulnerable and older people and I urge charities to sign up. This country is a generous nation and I want the giving public to have the trust and confidence to support the causes that matter most to them for many years to come.”

Lord Grade's repeated reminder to fundraisers in the form of Scrabble tiles. Photo: Howard Lake
Lord Grade reminded fundraisers several times at this year’s National Convention dinner that ‘donors are consumers’. He admitted being a Scrabble player, but strongly disliked the adverts on the free app version of the game. Photo: Howard Lake

Lord Grade, Chairman of the Fundraising Regulator, thanked the Fundraising Standards Board for its work. He said:

“The damage to public confidence experienced by charities affects the whole sector. No regulator can be effective without the confidence of the public and the support of the sector it regulates. Many charities have accepted that things must change and that they can be instrumental in leading that change. I would like to thank the Fundraising Standards Board for all it has achieved in its 10 years as the regulator.”

Andrew Hind, Chair of the Fundraising Standards Board, urged charities to support the new scheme.

Institute of Fundraising Chief Executive Peter Lewis said:

“We believe that the fundraising community will be better served by this new, stronger Fundraising Regulator, able to act more quickly and effectively if poor fundraising practice is exposed. Its existence gives members of the public an effective place to go, and with a new independent remit to set standards it will no doubt help us all rebuild trust in charity fundraising practice. We look forward to working closely with the new regulator.”

Geographical remit

The new regulator’s geographic remit currently covers England and Wales. In Scotland a new system of enhanced self-regulation has been launched dealing with charities based in Scotland. All Scottish charities will be covered by the regime. However, charities working in Scotland but headquartered in England and Wales will be regulated by the Fundraising Regulator.

A decision on whether to join the Fundraising Regulator will be taken in Northern Ireland later in 2016.

The regulator has worked closely with the National Council for Voluntary organisations, the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action.