Shaping the future: an update on our code review

By Conor Gibson, Policy Manager at the Fundraising Regulator

Back in 2022 we started the process of reviewing the Code of Fundraising Practice (the code) to make sure it provides you with an effective regulatory framework now and into the future.   

Since our last update, we conducted a public consultation on our proposals for amending the code, which closed in December 2023. Below we share what happened during the consultation period, the response to the consultation and what comes next as we enter the final stage of our review.   

What we did during the public consultation 

We launched the 12-week code consultation on 6 September 2023 at the Chartered Institute of Fundraising’s Fundraising Convention in Glasgow. Those who wanted to share their thoughts on our proposed changes to the code were asked to complete a form on our website. This allowed individuals to comment on as many or as few of the proposed changes as they wanted. The form included proposals for retaining, revising, or removing every rule in the current code and questions on expanding the code.  

We held a series of in-person and online engagement events throughout the consultation period to encourage participation and raise awareness of our code review, including events in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. We also engaged with key stakeholders and spoke at a range of events hosted by sector bodies to give the consultation the widest reach possible.  

Response to the consultation 

The consultation closed on 1 December 2023, and we received responses from over 150 organisations and over 4,500 comments on our proposals. 

In reviewing the responses, we saw a high level of support in particular for our proposals to: 

  • streamline the code  
  • move to principles-based rules; and 
  • replace rules where we are not the lead regulator with signposting to relevant legislation and guidance. 

Redrafting the code  

Our internal committees have approved our proposals to produce a redrafted code since reviewing the responses we received, which will:  

  • Contain wider principles-based rules. Protections for the public that appear in the current code will be kept, but a principles-based approach will allow for wider interpretation in the context of new fundraising approaches. This includes changes (such as in technology or society as a whole) that have happened since the last full code review in 2019. 
  • Replace rules where we are not the lead regulator with links to guidance and information about legislation that relates to fundraising. 

  • Clarify the Fundraising Regulator’s requirements around payment of fundraisers. 

Next steps 

We have now completed our draft of the new code, and are seeking legal advice ahead of a final eight-week public consultation, scheduled for September 2024. This will give fundraising organisations the chance to see what the revised code looks like and let us know your thoughts on it before we produce the final new version for launch next year.  

In early 2025, we will seek our board’s approval of the new code ahead of its publication. The new code will then be published on our website alongside a timetable for implementation.  

When the new code is launched there will be a six-month grace period for charities to update their processes to align with the new code. The casework team will not investigate complaints about the new code rules until after this six-month period. After this, the casework team will start to investigate complaints using the new code rules in full, with some flexibility depending on the nature and timing of the complaint.   

We will produce relevant supplementary guidance to support organisations with the implementation of the new code. This will include advice to help you comply with the new code on areas such as due diligence, monitoring partnerships and documenting decisions. We’ll also be looking at ways to make the online code more accessible, easier to navigate, and with an improved glossary section. 

If you have any questions about the code review, please get in touch with the policy team at