Business plan 2019/20

Our Business Plan for 2019/20 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. This year, we will begin planning to update our strategic plan beyond 2021.

Following our launch in July 2016, we have now moved through the set-up phase into a stable, fully operational stage. The Business Plan focuses on governance, objectives that we aim to deliver within the year and resources.


  1. Constitution and governance
  2. Objectives
  3. Resources

Constitution and governance

The Fundraising Regulator is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee established to be the independent, voluntary regulator of charitable fundraising in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, following the recommendations in the Cross-Party Parliamentary Review of Fundraising (September 2015). We also regulate fundraising in Scotland carried out by charities registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales or Charity Commission of Northern Ireland. The Code of Fundraising Practice is UK-wide.

We have a Board and three committees (Standards, Complaints and Investigations, and Finance, Audit and Risk). Board members are recruited through open competition, and have expertise in regulation, the law, finance, digital, fundraising and the charitable sector. The Board includes a member for Wales and one for Northern Ireland. The committees are made up of Board members and external co-optees. 

We will continue to work closely with the organisations we have agreed Memorandums of Understanding:

Other organisations we work with include:


Our objectives flow from the strategic outcomes and priorities set out in our Strategic Plan. They include our business as usual, and are as follows:

Improve fundraising standards (outcome 1)

In 2019/20 we will continue to:

  • maintain and promote the Code of Fundraising Practice.

In addition we will:

  • review charities' audited accounts for compliance with s13 of the 2016 Charities Act (target Q4)

Operate the Fundraising Preference Service and support compliance with GDPR (outcome 2)

In 2019/20 we will continue to:

  • support charities to comply with data protection law; and
  • publish the names of charities that have not accessed their FPS suppressions.

In addition we will:

  • increase awareness of the FPS, particularly promoting its use for those in vulnerable circumstances (target Q2);
  • evaluate the effectiveness of the FPS (target Q2); and
  • aim to ensure that 100% of charities collect suppressions made through the FPS within a reasonable period (target Q2).

Provide effective casework handling (outcome 3)

In 2019/20 we will continue to:

  • provide an open and accessible complaints service to the public and encourage charities to publicise it on their websites;
  • continue to conduct proactive casework on matters of concern;
  • aim to complete 90% of casework within four weeks of receiving a complaint and 90% of investigations within 13 weeks;
  • aim to secure 100% compliance with the recommendations arising from casework;
  • publish the Annual Complaints Report (target Q1).

In addition we will:

  • seek views on the future of the annual survey of complaints dealt with by the sector (target Q1).

Provide support, guidance and research (outcome 4)

In 2019/20 we will continue to:

  • provide one to one advice to fundraisers and the public through a dedicated enquiries service;
  • support the sector to improve by sharing learning from our work;
  • pilot different ways of providing advice, guidance and support (for example, podcasts or videos); and
  • explore opportunities to support small charities further.

In addition we will:

  • conduct research with the sector to hear their views on fundraising regulation(target Q3);
  • review our guidance and develop information for members of the public (target Q4); 
  • explore whether any further support is needed so that fundraising ensures people in vulnerable circumstances are protected (target Q4);
  • continue to review the operation of the levy in anticipation of the new Strategic Plan and the levy in year 2021/22, and to take into account the changes made for the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 levy years.  

Communicate effectively about our regulation (outcome 5)

In 2019/20 we will continue to:

  • issue 'alerts’ to the sector when urgent regulatory messages or warnings need to be shared;
  • promote our role and the importance of our regulation to charities and the public in England, Wales and Northern Ireland;
  • continue to engage with the public and sector, and make ourselves accessible to listen to their views;
  • continue to collaborate and work with other regulators and membership organisations; and
  • publish the Annual Review and Annual Report and Accounts (target Q1).

In addition we will:

  • review the Fundraising Badge, including how it is issued and suspended or removed (target Q3);
  • review our communications strategy (target Q2);
  • achieve 3500 registrations by smaller fundraising charities, including a proportionate number in Wales and Northern Ireland (target Q4);

We will report on our performance against these objectives in our Annual Report and Annual Review at the end of 2019/20.


Our income derives primarily from a voluntary levy on charities and fundraising agencies and a registration system for smaller charities. We remain committed to continuously assessing value for money across all areas of our work.

Around 2,000 charities are in scope of the levy, which is currently based on a scale of payments for all charities spending £100,000 or more annually on fundraising. Smaller charities, those spending less than £100,000 a year on fundraising, pay £50 a year to register with us. All organisations that commit publicly to meeting the Fundraising Promise and Code of Fundraising Practice, and pay the relevant fee, are able to display the Fundraising Badge. For 2019/20 we reassessed the fees for all charities in the levy by basing their payment on the most recent data available from the Charity Commission for England and Wales. We also introduced two additional bandings to make any potential change in fees fairer and more gradual and this will be maintained for the levy year 2020/21.

Budget for 2019-20

Our budget for the 2019/20 levy year, targets an income of £2.25m (compared to £2.05m in 2018/19), which remains below the £2.5m income envisaged by the Cross-Party Parliamentary Review. Income at a higher 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.

  • FPS running: £310,000
  • Secretariat and communications: £270,000 
  • Public engagement and marketing: £255,000
  • Policy: £241,000
  • Casework: £240,000
  • Finance and levy: £202,000
  • Projects: £155,000
  • Board and governance: £131,000
  • Administration: £125,000
  • Premises: £119,000
  • Professional fees: £104,000

Total: £2,152,000


Our staffing costs constitute a substantial part of our expenditure. We currently have 20 staff working in four teams – Policy, Casework, Corporate Services and Finance and Procurement. Our commitment to offering value for money means we look at how we regulate in a way that is as efficient and effective as possible. This includes making sure our work force remains skilled and supported to do their work. We will look at the feedback from our staff survey and take forward the outcomes of this during 2019/20.