We’re governed by a non-executive board of directors, drawn from inside and outside the sector. As a company limited by guarantee, our directors are responsible for the overall control and strategic direction of the organisation.
The board is guided by recommendations from three committees.
- The complaints and investigations committee reviews our casework performance and determines the outcome of certain individual complaints.
- The standards committee oversees changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice and guidance we produce.
- The finance, audit and risk committee monitors financial performance, risk and HR issues.
Minutes from the most recent Board Meetings are summarised below.
Board meeting: 29 October 2019
The Board were updated on a number of key meetings and events that had been attended over the last 3 months, including the first meeting between the Regulator and the new Charities Minister Baroness Diana Barran. The Board discussed plans for the Regulator’s Annual Accountability Event taking place on 18 November.
The Board noted the current financial position, in particular the fact that income from the revised levy was being collected more quickly than in previous years. At the time of the meeting 19 organisations who had refused to pay in previous levy years had paid which was a positive step. The Levy and Registration team reported that although some charities were querying the levy amounts they were being asked to pay, far fewer were questioning the existence of the levy compared to previous years. In addition to looking at current income the Board also discussed reserves and approved an investment policy.
The Board approved a new Marketing Strategy for the Regulator which targets three key audiences; non registered smaller charities, smaller charities needing to renew their registrations and the general public. A small (mostly digital) campaign targeting the public around use of the FPS would be trialled first.
The Board discussed a proposal to undertake a survey of the sector about its regulatory role later on in November 2019. The Survey would be completed online and sent to all registrant and levy paying organisations.
An update on the numbers of complaints and investigations for the full year ending 30 August was presented to the Board. In addition two more complex cases were discussed in more detail.
The Board were also updated on staffing changes, FPS usage statics, governance and the progress of the Annual Report and Accounts.
Board Meeting: 30 July 2019
The Board were joined for the meeting by the Chair of the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel who provided an update on current developments and an overview of the types of complaints the panel are dealing with.
The Board noted the latest financial position as the the Fundraising Regulator approaches the financial year end. The Board were also updated on the final preparations for levy year 2019/20 as the invoices will be issued in August.
The Board approved the budget and business plan for 2019/20. Subject to minor amendments, both will be published on the website in September.
The Board noted the work being done to review compliance with the reporting requirements on fundraising in the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 and asked the Executive to consider how and when this would be published in due course.
The Board approved an updated version of a consultation policy that will be published on the website. A policy for consultations in relation to the Code of Fundraising Practice has been in place for some time and this has been revisited to cover all areas of the Fundraising Regulator’s business.
An update on the current numbers of complaints and investigations was presented to the Board and two more complex cases were reported in more detail.
The Board approved a proposal to appoint an external party to review the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) in the last quarter of 2019. The review of FPS had been promised one year after launch but was postponed to allow more time for the service to establish itself and to include the potential impact of GDPR.
The Board were also updated on staffing changes, reserves, fundraising platforms, FPS usage statics and the progress of the online version of the revised code.
Board meeting: 1 May 2019
This was a shorter meeting of the Board as it took place during the annual Board strategic away day.
The Board were updated on the latest financial position as we approach the final months of levy collection for Levy Year 3. The board were updated on the plans for the next levy year, when the levy will be based on the latest available information about fundraising expenditure. There will be changes to the levy for some charities from 1 September 2019.
The Board noted developments that had occurred since we started publishing a monthly list of charities that have breached the code in relation to the Fundraising Preference Service. They were informed of the process for keeping the list updated and the reasons that are given by charities who fail to take part.
The Board noted the latest situation with regard to complaints and investigations and noted that the Annual Complaints Report had been published since the last meeting.
The main topic considered by the Board was the revised Code of Fundraising Practice. This had been subject to public consultation and also reflected work with the Plain English Campaign and lawyers representing England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Board approved the revised code. The Board thanked the Executive for all of the work that had gone into the new draft, and the members of the Standards Committee who had looked through the new draft in great detail. The Board were informed of the next steps that will mean a PDF version of the code is published in June followed by implementation of the new version alongside a web version in October 2019.
Board meeting: 5 February 2019
The Board welcomed Lord Harris to his first meeting as Chair of the Board.
The Board received a presentation on the initial findings of public research we've done. The Board agreed that more time should be made for discussion on the findings at the next Board meeting in May when the final report will have been received. The Board will consider publication of the findings after that.
The Board were updated on recruitment to fill current and known vacancies, including Board members, the Head of Casework, and Communications Manager. The Board reviewed the current financial position and approved the management accounts.
The Board discussed in detail the proposed changes to the Levy. This followed on from previous discussions at the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee and at the previous Board meeting. The Board approved the changes proposed by the Committee. It was agreed that in order to allow charities as long as possible to prepare for any changes, an announcement would be made in March.
A Casework update was presented, giving the latest statistics on the numbers of investigations and complaints and how quickly they are resolved. The Board were also updated on the decision about the International Liberty Association that was due to be published shortly.
The Board noted that from early March the list of charities that have breached the Code in relation to FPS would be made public.