News briefing: The Beacon Collaborative, BT MyDonate, London Marathon and more

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Felicity Spencer-Smith | 29 January 2019

In the first news roundup of 2019, Felicity Spencer-Smith takes a look at what’s happening in the fundraising community, including charity ethics and trust, a new philanthropic movement, and the latest in IoF news.


The Beacon Collaborative, a group of philanthropists, convened this month together with sector leaders and policy makers to discuss how to kick-start philanthropy in the UK. The target is to encourage their peers to increase annual charitable giving collectively by £2 billion. They’ve put together a Manifesto that states the principles upon which the plan is based, which the IoF have signed. At the IoF, we’re really pleased to support the movement of philanthropists and organisations who are collectively committed to encouraging others in their philanthropy.

Amy Sweeting, vice chair of the Major Donor SIG, has written a blog about this for Civil Society. Read it here.


BT announced this month that their commission-free fundraising service, My Donate, will close on 30 June 2019. The service was developed in 2011 and helped fundraisers and charities raise millions for great causes  about 12,000 charities are registered on the platform, of which around 7,000 have received donations in the past six months. BT said that fundraising technology had moved on significantly and many other fundraising platforms were now available, some of which are free.


Some future news now. On Sunday 28 April 2019, in three months, the London Marathon will break the one billion donations mark. Since 1981, charity runners and their sponsors have raised more than £955 million. We’re looking forward to a strong future for the London Marathon as they raise even more funds for charity.


NCVO published the Charity Ethical Principles, a guide that benchmarks good practice for the charity sector. This was produced following months of consultation and engagement with charities of all sizes. Governing bodies, staff and volunteers are encouraged to actively consider the principles and how they can integrate them throughout their work.

Lizzie Ellis, IoF Policy Officer, explains what these principles mean for the fundraising sector – read here.

Read the Charity Ethical Principles in full here.


The fundraising community were once again discussing charity spend ratios, a perennial issue that many fundraisers face when talking to the public. Kate Lee, chief executive at CLIC Sargent, wrote an excellent thought piece shutting down the cost comparison of charities and why a new golden formula for generating trust in charities is needed.


Some 3,847 people used the Fundraising Preference Service to make 11,890 suppression requests between November 2017 and October 2018, according to figures published by the Fundraising Regulator. People can use the FPS if they want to stop phone calls, text messages, emails and direct email. This is the first time we’ve had a whole year of data available that shows how the FPS is doing.


Thank you to the 400+ organisations that took part in the Change Collective survey of fundraising teams. The information will be used to benchmark the fundraising sector in order to gain insight and track our progress. It’s still open to all fundraising organisations until Monday 4 February 2019 – find the survey here.

We will announce the findings and our next steps soon. Members and non-members can sign up the Change Collective newsletter by ticking ‘Change Collective’ under ‘My Interests’.

Felicity Spencer-Smith, External Affairs Officer, Institute of Fundraising



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