On meeting with Lord Grade
I had my first meeting with Lord Grade, Chair of the Fundraising Regulator, this week at his offices in the west end. I spent a few years working in television at the start of my career, and we share some very old friends so we had a brief chat about some memories – a good way to start.
We then reflected on the first year of the Fundraising Regulator and the excellent working relationships that our two teams have built together.
I talked to Lord Grade about how it has been to be a fundraiser over the last couple of years; the dedication and passion I’ve seen, and the huge efforts to do the right thing for your donors, to put things right when needed, and to ensure best practice is consistently upheld.
I outlined some of the great work in the sector, and Lord Grade was quick to respond with genuine praise for the vast majority of fundraisers, who he said, are doing great work and absolutely deserve recognition for it. I asked him for more of this positive messaging in public forums to support us all, and he agreed.
He also made clear his intention to continue to call out bad practice – which is always likely to be picked up by the press - but is keen to be supportive too. We discussed some specific ideas about how we will put that support into practice, which will hopefully happen soon.
We also talked about some challenges with particular areas of fundraising where they have some concerns, and our joint commitment to sorting those.
We agreed on the need for strong, effective self-regulation, and how important it is that it works and that charities support it by paying the levy (amongst other things). So I would suggest to any fundraiser whose organisation has an issue with paying the levy, whatever the reason, to approach the regulator and talk about it.
The Regulator's frustration is that 250 charities have simply not replied or even returned their calls. So, if that's you, can you let them know? They genuinely want to hear the reasons why so they can address it. We have offered to help in whatever way we can to encourage people to sign up through our network and our regular events, and perhaps by holding joint events to discuss issues.
Finally, we talked about the IoF strategy; how we want to represent the sector, to be the voice of fundraisers, to drive high standards and professionalism, and on our ongoing journey to chartered status, as well as our role in taking forward the Commission on the Donor Experience, all of which Lord Grade welcomed.
All in all, it was a very constructive meeting, with much more to follow I’m sure!
Amanda Bringans, Chair of the IoF and Director of Fundraising, British Heart Foundation
Amanda brings with her an impressive track record of experience having led fundraising teams at some of the UK’s most loved and supported charities. Her previous roles include Director of Global Fundraising and Communications at VSO and 16 years working at Macmillan Cancer Support where she became Director of Fundraising.
She has also held senior roles with Leonard Cheshire Disability and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Amanda joined the British Heart Foundation as its Director of Fundraising in December 2015.
Follow Amanda on Twitter: @AmandaBringans