Fundraising Regulator launches market inquiry into the use of subcontractors by fundraising agencies

The Fundraising Regulator has announced the launch of a market inquiry looking into issues relating to the use of subcontractors in fundraising by charities. The inquiry will seek to better understand how door-to-door and on-street fundraising sub-contracts are arranged and monitored in the sector. 

This marks the first time that the regulator has launched a market inquiry, which looks at issues that are related to compliance with the Code of Fundraising Practice and cut across the sector.  

The market inquiry will include fact-finding, sector engagement, and workshops with relevant stakeholders. The regulator will also engage with other regulators and sector bodies to agree a process for action against those who prove unwilling to comply with the Code. 

Following its conclusion, the Fundraising Regulator will issue its findings and produce targeted support to help charities and agencies fundraise responsibly using sub-contracted partners. The form of this support will be led by sector feedback and may include written guidance, workshops and events. 

Leading the inquiry from within the Fundraising Regulator will be their Head of Proactive Regulation and Projects, Jim Tebbett, who was appointed to the newly-created role in June.  

Commenting on the launch of the market inquiry, Lord Toby Harris, the Chair of the Fundraising Regulator, said:  

“We always want to work with the sector to ensure that charitable fundraising is compliant with the Code of Fundraising Practice.  However, the significant rise in the use of sub-contractors by fundraising agencies means that we and the charity sector need a better understanding of how these arrangements are created and monitored. This inquiry is intended to deepen that understanding and enable lessons to be drawn about how best such arrangements might be structured to ensure that the public are protected and the sector’s reputation is maintained. 

We are committed to working with the sector to understand how best to monitor and regulate the use of subcontracting. Our aim continues to be helping charities and fundraising agencies comply with the Code and fundraise responsibly, so the public has confidence and trust in the sector and charitable work can thrive. 

Separate to the market inquiry, the regulator also has ongoing investigations into charities who have worked with fundraising agencies that have engaged in sub-contracting. These investigations will remain unaffected by the market inquiry.”