Our Business Plan for 2018/19 has been developed in the context of our three-year Strategic Plan (2018-21) which sets out our role, vision, mission and values, longer-term outcomes and strategic priorities.
Following our launch in July 2016, we have now moved from the set-up phase into a more stable operational stage. All our functions are now fully operational in all relevant jurisdictions, and we have a full staff complement.
The plan focuses on governance, objectives that we aim to deliver within the year and resources (financial and human).
Our planning and financial year has been amended in 2018 to run from September to August, to correspond with the third year of the levy.
The Fundraising Regulator is a company limited by guarantee established to carry out the independent, voluntary regulation of charitable fundraising in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, following the recommendations in the Cross-Party Parliamentary Review of Fundraising (2015). We also regulate fundraising in Scotland carried out by charities registered primarily with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. Our Code of Fundraising Practice is UK-wide.
We have a Board and three committees (Standards; Complaints and Investigations; Finance, Audit and Risk). Board members are recruited through open competition, reflecting expertise in regulation, fundraising and the charitable sector. The Board includes a member for Wales and one for Northern Ireland. The committees comprise Board members and external co-optees.
We will continue to work closely with the following organisations, with which we have signed Memorandums of Understanding:
- Charity Commission for England and Wales
- Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
- Gambling Commission
- Information Commissioner’s Office
- Institute of Fundraising
- Office for Students
- Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel
Other organisations with which we work include but are not restricted to:
- Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations
- Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
- National Council for Voluntary and Community Action
- National Council for Voluntary Organisations
- Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action
- Welsh Council for Voluntary Action
Our objectives for 2018/19 flow from the strategic outcomes and priorities set out in our Strategic Plan. They are as follows:
- Publish new content on digital platforms (summer 2018)
- Consult on review of code content and structure (September – October 2018) and publish revised version (January 2019)
- Revision of sections on health and safety/ safeguarding and people in vulnerable circumstances (January - March 2019)
- Review charities’ audited accounts for compliance with the fundraising requirements in the Charities (Social and Protection) Act 2016 (from autumn 2018)
- Provide an open and accessible complaints service to the public and encourage charities to publicise it on their websites
- Complete 90% of casework within 4 weeks of receipt and 90% of investigations within 13 weeks
- Secure 100% compliance with the recommendations arising from casework. Develop and consult on proposals for collecting and publishing benchmarking information on complaints in 2019-20 (autumn 2018)
- Maintain close working relationships with the Charity Commission, ICO and other relevant regulators
- Take steps to reduce "out of remit" complaints
Support, guidance and research
- Continue to provide one-to-one advice to fundraisers and the public through a dedicated enquiries service
- Update GDPR guidance as required (autumn/winter 2018)
- Identify key areas of fundraising activity for further research (spring 2019)
- Publish thematic reports/learning arising from casework (quarterly)
- Produce guidance on the E-Privacy draft directive (depends on publication by EU and/or UK Government in 2019 or 2020)
- Protect donors by publishing safer giving advice
- Pilot different ways of providing advice, guidance and support (for example, podcasts or videos)
Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) and data protection
- Continue to develop and improve the FPS, from a customer and charity perspective
- Market the FPS, particularly to vulnerable people who may want to use it
- Publish learning from year one of the FPS
- Achieve 80% on-boarding of charities to the FPS (levy-payers and other charities named in suppressions)
- Continue to support charities to comply with GDPR
- Start to review charities’ compliance with GDPR (from spring 2019)
- Introduce regular blogs and thought pieces to the website from key members of staff
- Smaller charities survey – define outcomes and follow-up (autumn 2018)
- Measure public confidence in fundraising (spring 2019)
- Monitor and review 2018/19 communications strategy (spring 2019)
- Issue 'alerts’ to the sector when urgent regulatory messages or warnings need to be shared
- Pilot two webinars on key topics
- Analyse media coverage (quarterly)
- Promote our role and the benefits of our regulation to charities and the public in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
- Increase the visibility of the Fundraising Regulator’s logo and Fundraising Badge
- Establish a staff presence in Wales and Northern Ireland (subject to Board decision, July 2018)
- Review levy framework for year four
- Achieve 2,000 registrations by smaller fundraising charities, including a proportionate number in Wales and Northern Ireland
- Secure £2.2m of levy income in year three
- Publish annual report and accounts (November 2018)
- Ensure staff have the skills to do their jobs, through a programme of learning and development
- Regularly assess value for money across all areas of our operation
We will report on our performance against these objectives in our annual report and annual review at the end of 2018/19.
Our income derives primarily from a voluntary levy on charities and fundraising agencies and a registration system for smaller charities.
Around 2,000 charities are in scope of the levy, which is based on a scale of payments for all charities spending £100,000 or more annually on fundraising. Smaller charities pay £50 per annum to register with us. All registrants sign up to the Fundraising Promise and Code of Fundraising Practice and are able to display the Fundraising Regulator badge.
Our budget for 2018/19 (levy year three) envisages income of £2.1 million (compared to £1.8 million in 2017/18), which is well within the envelope envisaged by the Cross-Party Parliamentary Review. Income at this level would mean that, in addition to our regulatory activities, we would be able to put more resources into enabling and supporting the sector and sharing learning.
As a regulator, our staffing costs constitute a substantial part of our expenditure. We currently have 19 staff, working in four teams – Policy, Casework, Corporate Services and Finance and Procurement.
If resources permit and the Board so decides, we aim to appoint an additional member of staff in Northern Ireland and in Wales, principally to publicise and promote our services to charities and the public and to encourage registration.