IoF launches consultation on fundraising accreditation programme

IoF launches consultation on fundraising accreditation programme

12 December 2016

The Institute of Fundraising (IoF), the professional membership body for UK fundraising, is today launching a consultation on a new accreditation programme for public fundraising.

The accreditation programme is being designed to build greater confidence in public fundraising, and help drive consistently high standards across the charity sector.  The consultation will close at the end of January, with the aim to launch the programme by the new financial year.

The accreditation process and subsequent assessment would cover a wide range of topics related to high quality fundraising and focus on the three Ps: people, policies and processes. Firstly, the process will aim to ensure that the policies in place are accurate and up to date, such as data protection, protecting vulnerable people and complaints handling. In addition, there will be training observations to establish the quality of training processes and the checks that are in place to help ensure fundraising is carried out to a high standard. Following accreditation, members will agree to greater levels of monitoring and oversight in order to maintain high standards on an ongoing basis. The programme aims to be rigorous and fair.  

The IoF’s assessment criteria are designed to test an organisation’s knowledge, systems, processes and policies as they relate to both fundraising law and good practice. This is to help them ensure that their fundraising operations are run in a legal and compliant manner, as well as aiming towards the highest professional standards. The programme is designed to work alongside the responsibility of charities to conduct their own due diligence, and should especially beneficial for smaller charities who tend to have fewer resources to conduct their own due diligence.

This is a member-led initiative, and it is expected that all fundraising organisations who aspire to high professional standards will support and join the programme.

Peter Hills-Jones, Director of Compliance at the IoF, said:

High standards are at the core of what it means to be a good fundraiser. Charities and their agency partners, if they’re members of the IoF, are making a strong commitment to high quality and sustainable fundraising. This accreditation programme will be the next step to drive up fundraising standards even further, and help to maintain public confidence and support for the vital causes our members work on.”

Stephen Dunmore, Chief Executive of the Fundraising Regulator said:

“Accreditation is an important tool in reinforcing good practice, establishing performance benchmarks to help organisations and individual fundraisers understand where their compliance strengths and weaknesses lie. We welcome the IoF’s announcement today as a sign that its members are taking ownership of their own compliance journey to meet the practical requirements of the Code of Fundraising Practice.”

Sarah Atkinson, Director of Policy and Communications at the Charity Commission said:

“Donors and the public care about the way that charities raise funds. A robust accreditation system for fundraising organisations could help ensure that fundraising meets the standards that are expected. This a positive initiative and we would encourage charities to take part and respond.”