The Fundraising Regulator has published new rules and guidance outlining the responsibilities of online fundraising platforms.
The new standards were developed following a public consultation in February, in which representatives from across the sector, including charities, online giving platforms, sector bodies and legal organisations, participated. The Fundraising Regulator also hosted roundtable discussions with approximately twenty representatives from online giving platforms.
The changes have been made to the Code of Fundraising Practice, and require online platforms to meet the same levels of transparency required of other organisations associated with charitable giving. For non-legal requirements, fundraising platforms have to the end of August 2018 to implement any changes that may be necessary to their systems.
Guidance has also been produced to help the general public who want to raise funds using these platforms to ensure they do not inadvertently breach the Code and also consider how funds will reach the intended beneficiaries. There is also advice for donors, outlining what they can expect, how to give safely online, including how to identify fraudulent causes, and how to report issues.
Stephen Dunmore, Chief Executive of the Fundraising Regulator said:
“There was a very generous public response to the high-profile incidents in London and Manchester in 2017 but in some cases, questions were raised about how the money raised through crowdfunding pages would reach the people that donors wanted to help where they had not named a charity to receive the donations. We have worked collaboratively with the online platforms to update our Code and develop guidance to ensure fundraising through these channels is transparent and lawful.
“We are confident that the updates to the Code will continue to ensure public trust in online platforms and encourage donors to give confidently.”
Daniel Fluskey, Head of Policy & External Affairs at the Institute of Fundraising said:
“Fundraising platforms have made a huge difference to charity fundraising and continue to innovate to give the public a good and quick experience of supporting charities. Ensuring that the public have the right information when they make donations, or set up fundraising pages, is really important so we are glad to see the Fundraising Regulator update the Code and provide guidance to platforms on the information that should be provided.”
“We hope that these changes will enable online fundraising to continue to grow and maintain confidence in giving through fundraising platforms.”
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