Who's checking?

This is the first blog from the Governance Academy, now live at www.doingoodleeds.org.uk/Governance Academy. The academy takes a glance at who is checking up on charity fundraising.

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The Charity Commission published a policy paper in December 2014 called “ Strategic statement on the Charity Commission’s regulation of fundraising”. See also CC20 Fundraising and Charities.  

Let’s take a look at who regulates what with regard to fundraising activities of charities. Standards of behaviour for charities involved in fundraising are imposed by what is known as “self regulation”. This is how it works: Charities that voluntarily sign up to be regulated have to show that they are carrying out their fundraising activities in accordance with standards and these standards are set out in a Code of  Fundraising Practice. The link to the code is www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/guidance/code-of-fundraising-practice/ The body that charities sign up with is called:  The Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB). Basically, the board promotes good practice and investigates bad practice. www.frsb.org.uk

There is also a body called, “The institute of Fundraising (IoF) and this is the membership  organisation for fundraising professionals and fundraising charities. www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk There is yet another body called The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) . This body oversees door to door and street fundraising where the fundraiser asks someone to make a regular donation to a charity by direct debit. www.pfra.org.uk    

The role of the Charity Commission in regulating charities that fundraise

The Charity Commission concentrates on compliance with the law. They do this by a combination of

  1. Prevention
  2. Intervention
  3. Co-operation
Other organisation involved in fundraising regulation
  1. The Gambling Commission: regulates commercial gambling and the National lottery. www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk
  2. The Advertising Standards Authority is the self –regulator for advertising.www.asa.org.uk
  3. The Direct Marketing Commission deals with complaints about direct marketing. www.dmcommission.com
  4. Ofcom is the communications regulator www.ofcom.org.uk
  5. The Information Commissioner’s Office regulates information rights and data protection. www.ico.org.uk
  6. Action Fraud provides a central contact in respect of reporting fraud. www.actionfraud.police.uk
  7. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs is the tax authority. www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs
Recommendations from the academy to your charity
  1. Read the policy paper
  2. Subscribe to The Fundraising Standards Board
  3. Join the Institute of Fundraising
  4. Ensure that your charity is abiding by the Code of Fundraising Practice.

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