Changes to the way we report on complaints data from charities

By Sara Asaria, Policy Officer at the Fundraising Regulator 

Last summer, the Fundraising Regulator conducted a complaints handling survey to help identify whether we could improve our reporting on fundraising complaints data from charities.  

After analysing the findings from the survey – which received over 450 responses – we’ve made the decision to pause collecting data from charities for part two of our Annual Complaints Report (ACR) for around two years.  

We will publish our Annual Complaints Report in 2024 as normal, but will then pause publication of complaints data from charities in 2025 and 2026 while we develop improvements to the way share information with the sector. During this process we will continue to report on the complaints we receive from members of the public (ACR part one).  

Why are we pausing the collection and publication of this data? 

Pausing the collection of charities’ complaints data will allow us to work on developing the ideas for improvement suggested by respondents to the complaints handling survey. This includes: 

  • increasing the sample size of charities that submit data to make it more representative of the wider sector (we currently only collect data from some of the largest fundraising charities) 

  • presenting the data we collect in more accessible and interactive formats; and 

  • improving the way in which we collect data for analysis 

This will help make sure that the data we publish is of the greatest use and relevance to a wider range of organisations involved in charitable fundraising. 

How will this impact the collection and reporting of data? 

While we pause publishing part two of our Annual Complaints Report in 2025/2026, it is important that all charities continue to collect and monitor their own complaints data, and continually strive to achieve best practice in fundraising.   

It’s also important to remember that charities in England and Wales with an income of over £1 million are required by law to provide statements on specific areas of their fundraising in their annual report. Our guidance helps charities understand the requirements of the Charities Act 2016  and how to meet legal duties. 

Next steps 

We’re conscious that any changes we may ask charities to make to the data they collect could require a long lead in time to implement. We’ll therefore make sure we provide plenty of notice before we expect any new data collection process to begin.   

Once again, we’d like to thank all those organisations that provided helpful feedback to our survey last year. We’re still at a very early stage in planning what the future of our complaints reporting will look like, and we’ll share more information as our plans develop.  

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