Five years of effective regulation
Five years on, the Fundraising Regulator continues to deliver independent self-regulation that ensures public protection, accountability and excellence in fundraising. We are proud to report on our impact over the past five years.
"Created five years ago in the wake of media exposure of some unacceptable fundraising techniques, the Fundraising Regulator has proved itself a well led and governed body which commands the respect of the sector, the public and the Government. It has ensured that professional codes are modernised and is itself sustainable. It has proved against the naysayers that self-regulation can work and in that it provides lessons for the future."
Sir Stuart Etherington, Chair of the 2015 cross-party fundraising review panel, which led to the Fundraising Regulator's set up.
We have completely overhauled and digitised the fundraising code to make it easier to understand and navigate.
So that all fundraisers can easily understand the standards expected of them, we undertook the most significant overhaul of the Code of Fundraising Practice for more than a decade. In October 2019, we launched the new and improved code. This brought together the former rulebooks and legal appendices, and for the first time it was relaunched as a digital resource, with a new structure to help people navigate through it easily. The new code has achieved the Plain English Crystal Mark for its transparency and jargon-free language.
We have supported 12,700 people to manage the fundraising communications they receive from charities.
Members of the public should always have a positive fundraising experience. That’s why we launched the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS), which lets members of the public choose how they are contacted about making donations to charity. More than 12,700 people have used the service to date and 2,300 charities have signed up to receive regular notifications from the FPS.
"From poverty relief to conducting world-class research, the British public’s generosity fuels much of the vital work that charities deliver. Underpinning this generosity is trust and confidence in the fundraising practices of organisations that people donate money to. By providing clear and consistent standards for charities to follow, the Fundraising Regulator has promoted a culture of ethical fundraising that both protects donors and supports the vital work that charities do every day."
Sarah Vibert, interim CEO, National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
"The Fundraising Regulator provides an important mechanism to build public trust and confidence in charities. As its presence has grown in Northern Ireland, it has become an essential source of standards, information and assurance for charities and the public by setting out clearly what good fundraising looks like and what can be done about bad practice. The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Fundraising Regulator in the coming years."
Frances McCandless, Chief Executive, Charity Commission Northern Ireland
We have helped nearly 5,000 organisations show the public that they are committed to ethical fundraising.
Today there are nearly 5,000 organisations registered with the Fundraising Regulator. This is made up of small, medium and large charities, as well as commercial organisations that engage in fundraising. By registering, these organisations are demonstrating to members of the public that they are committed to fundraising in a way that is legal, honest, open and respectful. And they can use the Fundraising Badge to prove it.
We have completed nearly 200 investigations into fundraising complaints against charities and third-party fundraisers.
We uphold the standards in fundraising as set out in the Code of Fundraising Practice by investigating complaints from members of the public when things go wrong. Over the past five years, we have received around 2,500 complaints about charitable fundraising and 200 of these cases resulted in a formal investigation. While we do not find breaches of the code in every case we investigate, we regularly make recommendations for improvement so that fundraising meets the highest standards.
"Five short but very effective and full of action years since the Fundraising Regulator became operational, it added a most needed added value to the fundraising eco system and helped improve donors-charities relationship."
Fadi Itani, CEO, Muslim Charities Forum
"Over the past five years, the Fundraising Regulator has helped to ensure that standards in fundraising keep improving and responding to the ever-changing landscape charities operate in. CFG is pleased to see the Fundraising Regulator develop and maintain a productive and collaborative relationship with fundraisers, working to provide guidance and support, whilst fostering the highest standards in the pursuit of charitable aims."
Caron Bradshaw OBE, CEO, Charity Finance Group
We have handled 5,400 incoming enquiries, giving tailored fundraising advice to charities and members of the public.
We are proud to be able to offer a dedicated enquiries line, which anyone can use if they have a query about charitable fundraising. Through this service, we give tailored advice to individual fundraisers and members of the public on a range of fundraising issues. We provide this service so that people can ensure their fundraising meets the standards set out in the Code of Fundraising Practice.
We have engaged 2,700 smaller charities with our regulation and continue to see registrations increase.
Key to the success of our regulation is engagement with smaller charities. These organisations interact with many communities across the UK and we are proud to support them to fundraise in line with the code. Over the past five years we’ve seen a large number of smaller charities publicly commit to the fundraising standards by registering with us, and the momentum is continuing. Registration shows members of the public that a charity is serious about fundraising, and it can even open up more fundraising opportunities.
"Through the Code of Fundraising Practice, the Fundraising Regulator offers voluntary organisations in Wales clear guidance on their fundraising activities, helping organisations of all sizes to plan high quality and best practice fundraising activities. The Regulator has created an open and approachable face of regulation which feels, after an inevitable period of ‘bedding in’ that we are all working towards the same goal with shared understanding of the issues from both charities and the public’s perspective."
Ruth Marks, Chief Executive, Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA)