By Catherine Orr, Head of Casework
This month, we issue the first set of 10 named investigation summaries. Back in October 2018, the Board of the Fundraising Regulator agreed that we will name all organisations we investigate from 1 March 2019.
We have included more detail than previously in these investigation summaries with the aim of making them more useful for the public and the organisations we regulate.
Why we are changing our approach?
We think it’s right that we name all the organisations we investigate, so that we promote and support a culture of ethical fundraising, allow the public, donors and potential donors to make informed decisions when they choose to donate to charity, and ensure we are transparent in our investigations process.
This brings our investigation work in line with that of other regulators such as the Charity Commission which names the organisations that it investigates.
Where a charity or third-party agency has breached the Code of Fundraising Practice, there is an opportunity for organisations to learn from the recommendations we have made. We will state clearly where organisations have agreed to comply with our recommendations for improvement. Where we find that a breach has not occurred, we want to show this in positive light and share examples of good practice.
How are the organisations involved?
As always, charities, and the agencies which work with them, are involved throughout our investigation process and we give organisations many opportunities to provide evidence.
We will also continue to share our draft decision and findings, as well as the investigation summary, with the complainant and all the organisations involved so that they can comment before we publish the summary on our website.
We will not be publishing the names of people who make complaints.
What will the new style summaries offer organisations and the public?
We want to provide organisations and the public with better insight into our investigations. So to do this, the summaries will now include the following:
- The complaint – we will clearly outline the complaint and the organisation(s) involved.
- What happened – we will set out a summary of what happened, and any relevant factors contributing to the complaint.
- Our decision – we will present our decision, noting how the organisation(s) complained about responded to the complaint, referring to the relevant areas of the code that were examined throughout the investigation, and noting whether or not each of these areas had been breached and why.
- Recommendations – in cases where we found that the organisation(s) investigated breached the code, we will outline the recommendations we made for improvement.
- Outcome – we will include a concluding statement to show what the outcome of our investigation was, for example, whether the organisation(s) investigated accepted our recommendations.
Where can I find the summaries?
A new library of our investigations can be found on our website which will be updated on a quarterly basis.