Business Plan 2021/22

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Constitution and governance 
  3. Objectives
  4. Resources
  5. Annex A: Budget
  6. Annex B: Staffing structure

1. Introduction

Our Business Plan for 2021/22 has been developed in the context of our Strategic Plan 2018-22 which sets out our role, vision, mission and values, longer-term outcomes and strategic priorities. 

In the Summer of 2022, we will be publishing a new Strategic Plan to cover the period 2022-27. The business plan for this year lays some of the groundwork for the new strategic plan. To ensure our focus remains aligned with broader sector priorities and developments in fundraising, we plan to engage both with the sector and stakeholders on the new strategic plan in 2022, ahead of it being finalised and rolled out. 

This Business Plan focuses on governance, objectives that we aim to deliver throughout the year and our resources. Several actions have been rolled forward from last year’s Business Plan due to the ongoing interruption caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

2. Constitution and governance

The Fundraising Regulator is the independent regulator of charitable fundraising in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Charitable fundraising in Scotland is subject to regulation by the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel. Fundraising in Scotland by charities where the lead regulator is the Charity Commission in England and Wales or in Northern Ireland, is regulated by us.

We stand for best practice in fundraising, in order to protect donors and support the vital work of fundraisers. We work in partnership with other regulators and representative bodies in the charitable and fundraising sectors to build public confidence and ensure consistent fundraising standards across the UK.

We are governed by a non-executive Board of Directors. The Board is supported by three committees which make recommendations to the Board where they do not have delegated powers to take decisions: Standards; Complaints and Investigations; and Finance, Audit and Risk. Board members are recruited through open competition, and have expertise in regulation, the law, fundraising, finance and the charitable sector. The Board includes a member for Wales and one for Northern Ireland, as well as an observer for Scotland on our Standards Committee. The committees are made up of Board members and external expert co-optees. 

We will continue to work closely with the organisations with which we have agreed Memorandums of Understanding:

  • Charity Commission for England and Wales (CCE&W)
  • Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (CCNI)
  • Chartered Institute of Fundraising (CIoF)
  • Gambling Commission 
  • Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
  • Office for Students
  • Regulator of Community Interest Companies
  • Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel 

Other organisations we work with regularly include:

  • Arts Council England
  • Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO)
  • Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)
  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)
  • Institute of Development Professionals in Education (IDPE)
  • National Council for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA)
  • National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
  • Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA)
  • Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR)
  • Small Charities Coalition
  • Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA)

3. Objectives

Our objectives flow from the outcomes set out in our Strategic Plan 2018-22. See the ‘Resources’ section of this Business Plan for details of our funding to deliver these activities.

Improve fundraising standards (outcome 1)

In 2021/22 we will continue to:

  • develop, maintain and promote the Code of Fundraising Practice;
  • publish guidance and other resources to support fundraising organisations to meet the standards we set; and
  • gather and review information about developments in the fundraising sector and elsewhere, to identify areas where we need to take targeted action. 

In addition, we will: 

  • begin a review of the Code of Fundraising Practice to make sure that it remains up to date and reflects best practice in fundraising (Q3);
  • make changes to our guidance following our guidance review, to make sure it is accessible and up to date (Q1); and
  • review charities’ audited accounts for compliance with Section 13 of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 (Q1).

Operate the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) and support compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (outcome 2)

In 2021/22 we will continue to:

  • increase awareness of the FPS among members of the public; 
  • support charities to comply with data protection law;
  • aim to ensure that 100% of suppressions made through the FPS are accessed by charities; and
  • publish the names of charities that have not accessed their FPS suppressions.

In addition, we will: 

  • implement the technical changes to the FPS recommended by the independent evaluation of the FPS (Q1); 
  • encourage charities to promote the FPS as part of their commitment to good fundraising practice; and
  • make changes to the FPS that allow it to be used on behalf of an individual who has died (Q1).

Provide effective casework handling (outcome 3)

In 2021/22 we will continue to:

  • operate an open and accessible complaints service and encourage charities to signpost to our service on their websites; 
  • conduct proactive casework on matters of concern;
  • aim to complete 90% of casework within four weeks of receipt of a complaint and 90% of investigations within 16 weeks of receipt of a complaint;
  • aim to secure 100% compliance with our recommendations arising from casework; and
  • publish the Annual Complaints Report (Q1).

In addition, we will: 

  • develop our approach to include preventative measures, monitoring of compliance and a more proactive assurance model (Q3); and
  • develop a pathway for the sector to self-report incidents of potential breaches of the Code of Fundraising Practice (Q2).

Provide support, guidance and research (outcome 4)

In 2021/22 we will continue to:

  • provide one-to-one advice to fundraisers and the public through a dedicated enquiries service;
  • encourage and support the sector to improve by sharing learning from our work;
  • provide advice, guidance and support in multimedia content formats (for example, webinars and video); and
  • publish advice to help the sector to fundraise safely and responsibly during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, and to help members of the public know what to expect from fundraisers.

In addition, we will:

  • develop information for members of the public to help them understand better charitable fundraising, so that they can make informed decisions before they donate; 
  • explore opportunities to support small charities that are spending under £100,000 on fundraising;
  • strengthen engagement with the charitable fundraising sectors in both Wales and Northern Ireland; 
  • explore whether any further support is needed so that fundraisers ensure people in vulnerable circumstances are respected and protected from unethical fundraising; and
  • improve the public Directory of those charities registered with us and that pay the levy to make it easier for the public to use and understand.

Communicate effectively about our regulation (outcome 5)

In 2021/22 we will continue to:

  • promote our role and the importance of our regulation to charities and the public in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; 
  • engage with the public and sector, and make ourselves accessible to listen to their views; 
  • issue alerts to the sector when urgent regulatory messages or warnings need to be shared;
  • increase public awareness of the Fundraising Badge and what it means; 
  • participate in events held by other sector and governmental bodies to raise awareness of the work we do;
  • collaborate and work with other regulators and membership organisations; and
  • publish our Annual Report and Accounts and in conjunction with its publication hold a public meeting (Q2).

In addition, we will:

  • aim to achieve an additional 1,000 registrations by small fundraising charities, including a proportionate number in Wales and Northern Ireland (Q4); 
  • aim to maintain 90% renewal rate from current small charity registrants (ongoing). 
  • develop the website to improve accessibility and to make it easier for the public to use; and 
  • engage with the sector on proposals to improve existing reporting of fundraising complaints received by large charities as published within part two of the Annual Complaints Report.

We will report on our performance against these outcomes in our Annual Report 2021/22.

4. Resources

The Fundraising Regulator’s scheme of voluntary fundraising regulation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is funded by the Fundraising Levy. The cost is shared among those organisations that conduct the most fundraising activity (spending more than £100,000 on fundraising per year). Our income derives primarily from the Fundraising Levy and a registration system for smaller charities and commercial fundraising agencies

Around 2,000 charities are in scope of the levy, which is based on a scale of payments for all charities spending £100,000 or more on fundraising per year. Smaller charities spending less than £100,000 a year on fundraising pay £50 a year to register with us. All organisations that commit publicly to meeting the Code of Fundraising Practice, and pay the relevant fee, can display the Fundraising Badge and are encouraged to do so. 

Our budget for 2021/22 is £2.3m, which represents an increase to our planned expenditure in previous years. This will enable us to undertake more regulatory activities as we come out of the pandemic period. In terms of income, we expect to raise £2.4m in 2021/22. Around 92%, or £2.2m, is forecast from the Fundraising Levy, while an additional £100k will come from smaller charity registrations and another £100k from commercial fundraiser registrations.

As well as our outward-facing objectives, we will also be making some internal investments this year. This includes investing in our internal communications with the introduction of an intranet for staff and some consultancy support (particularly in the areas of data and technology) to help prepare for new work streams that will begin with the new strategic plan. 

We also plan to move offices to another location within Central London during this financial year. This coincides with a shift to a hybrid working model, where staff will combine homeworking and office working. This is likely to require some initial investment, which our increased budget is expected to cover.

The budget for 2021/22 is included in Annex A.

Our staffing costs constitute a substantial part of our expenditure in 2021/22. We have budgeted to take on two new full-time members of staff in the Communications and Corporate Services team, and two part-time members of staff, one in the Casework team and one in the Policy team. This will result in 25 members of staff working in four teams – Casework; Communications and Corporate Services; Finance and Procurement; and Policy (see Annex B). 

Our commitment to offering value for money means we look to regulate in a way that is as efficient and effective as possible. This includes making sure our workforce remains skilled and supported to do their work. 

5. Annex A: Budget 2021/22

Table shows budgeted expenditure for 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22
Table shows budgeted expenditure for 2021/22
Image shows staff structure organogram