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: 21 July 2020
The Board held a full meeting via video conference due to the restrictions in place because of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Board thanked the staff team again for the flexible attitude in dealing with the transition to homeworking. The Board were updated on the planning and risk assessments around any return to the office. The Board were updated on IT changes and recent HR developments.
The Board approved the management accounts and noted the financial position with only two months remaining of the current financial year. The Board had a long and considered discussion about the next levy and a draft budget for the year beginning 1 September 2020 and agreed that the budget would need to be revisited in the new year when there was greater clarity about actual income levels from the next levy.
The Board considered the first draft of a business plan for 2020/21.
The Board received an update on the Review of the Fundraising Preference Service and noted that it is hoped that publication of the report (which has yet to be finalised) will be possible in the late autumn.
The Board discussed the latest casework numbers and noted that complaints had continued to be received during lockdown albeit in slightly lower numbers than usual. The Board noted the recent guidance that had been published jointly with the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. They also noted the guidance for the public that was issued to reflect the sector facing guidance.
Board meeting: 28 April 2020
The Board held a short meeting via video conference because of the restrictions in place due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). All members were in attendance, including the three new members of the Board.
The Board noted the transition to homeworking that had occurred and thanked all staff for adapting to the new situation so well.
The Board discussed the updated Risk Register.
The Board discussed the new guidance that has been published to help charities and the public during the pandemic, all of which is displayed in a new ‘Coronavirus advice hub’ on the website. The Board noted that the issuing of joint guidance and messaging was particularly important at this time.
The Board noted the package to support charities that had been announced by Government, and the research that has recently been published indicating the potential financial losses to charities.
The Board were updated on key meetings that have taken place with other bodies including the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the Chartered Institute of Fundraising and the NCVO. The Board noted that NHS Charities Together had recently registered with the Fundraising Regulator and were now displaying the ‘Registered with’ Fundraising Badge on their website.
The most significant area of discussion was the organisation’s current and future financial position. The Board discussed how to ensure that the organisation continues to operate as efficiently as possible, while continuing to deliver its regulatory activities effectively and proportionately. The Board noted that the organisation has not furloughed any staff members. The Board also discussed a paper about future budget assumptions and asked for further options to be considered before discussing the 20/21 budget in July.
Board meeting: 30 January 2020
The Board heard about recent work that has taken place in Northern Ireland to increase the profile of the Fundraising Regulator and to encourage charities to register and to pay the levy.
The Board received a presentation on the findings of a survey that had been sent to over 3,500 organisations that are registered with the Fundraising Regulator (made up of registered charities, levy payers and commercial suppliers). The Board welcomed the findings and were pleased with the honesty and volume of responses. A report on the findings will be published in March.
The Board noted the current levy position and the numbers of smaller charities that had recently registered.
The Board had a long discussion on various aspects of the current registration process, the issuing of the Fundraising Regulator’s Fundraising Badge and the Directory. These initial broad discussions helped to shape programme of further work that will look into each area in more detail to ensure that they are working as efficiently as possible and that charities and the public are clear on what being registered with the Fundraising Regulator means.
The Board discussed two areas that will feature in public consultations in due course. The first will be on the Annual Complaints Return, which will begin in March shortly after the publication of the most recent figures in late February. The second consultation will be on the levy, to consider possible changes from September 2021 onwards.
Finally the Board were updated on the review of the Fundraising Preference Service. The evaluation will include various methods to collect feedback from charities and users of the service and will be conducted in February, March and April 2020.
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.