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.
The Board held a full meeting via videoconference due to the restrictions in place due to Covid-19.
The Board thanked the staff team again for their flexibility and patience given the short return to office working, followed by more homeworking as the restrictions were strengthened.
The Board were updated on a staff awayday that had taken place via videoconference the previous week. The Board noted the latest developments on the guidance that has been produced jointly with the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. The Board noted the plans for the development of the next Strategic Plan, and discussed how to ensure adequate time for Board involvement when needed in the Regulator’s work during the pandemic.
The Board were updated on the latest position regarding the levy collection and the overall financial position. However, as it was only the second month of the financial year this discussion was necessarily limited.
The Board discussed the findings and recommendations in the independent evaluation of the Fundraising Preference Service. The Board noted the contents of the report, and the Board agreed to accept all of the recommendations, though implementation of some of them would require engagement with the sector. The Board agreed a publication timetable for the report.
The Board noted the contents of a report on the service that the Regulator provides in response to fundraising enquires from fundraisers and members of the public. This was the first time such information had been made available due to improvements in reporting mechanisms. The Board agreed that it was very interesting and noted that some of this information would be shared more widely in the Regulator’s Annual Report and Accounts.
Finally, the Chair of the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel provided an update on the work of the panel and their plans for the coming year.
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.
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.
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.