The Charity Commission and the Fundraising Regulator met last week with Chief Executives and senior representatives from 14 of the UK’s fundraising platforms with the aim of improving transparency around online giving.
The summit sought to agree principles that ensure individuals are supported when they set up or donate to online appeals, increase public trust and confidence in charity and online giving, and ensure that charitable resources are used effectively.
Areas discussed included:
- Advising individuals on the responsibility they are taking when setting up a page for ensuring funds raised are properly held on trust, and the advantages and disadvantages of different types of appeal
- Providing support and advice to individuals in managing successful appeals
- Providing support and advice to the general public on the advantages and disadvantages of donating through different routes, including the limits of the Charity Commission’s remit over person to person fundraising
- Providing transparent information about fees and charges
- Protecting charitable funds from fraud and misrepresentation, and the circumstances in which funds may be quarantined or pages closed
The summit also looked at whether self-regulation is the most appropriate way of ensuring high standards and transparency.
Helen Stephenson, Chief Executive at the Charity Commission, said:
“The emergence of new crowdfunding and online giving sites has had a positive impact on charitable giving in the UK, making it easy for the public to donate to a wide range of causes and respond quickly to large-scale disasters. I look forward to meeting with representatives from these fundraising sites to build on this success and to collectively identify what steps we can take going forward. We want to ensure the public are sufficiently informed about online giving and that they can set up appeals and donate with confidence.”
Stephen Dunmore, Chief Executive at the Fundraising Regulator, said:
“The public and charities are using crowdfunding and online donation sites more and more to raise funds for causes they care deeply about. It is very important that there is support for both the legal requirements and good practice in fundraising set out in the Code of Fundraising Practice. We look forward to building good working relationships with the online giving platforms to be sure they support the Code and can help develop it in future as well as to assure the public in particular that they can donate safely when they use the platform of their choice.”