Time for the ‘self’ to make itself heard in regulation

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Daniel Fluskey | 3 February 2017

Today the Fundraising Regulator has published its first consultation on the Code of Fundraising Practice. Covering issues around trustee duties, monitoring of third parties, vulnerable people, and others this is the first time that charities, fundraising organisations, and the public will have their chance to inform the Regulator of their views and ideas on the rules that fundraisers are held accountable to.

It’s a crucial time for the new system of fundraising regulation. A new, stronger, more effective regulator was called for by the IoF and our members and we’ve been encouraged by how the new Fundraising Regulator has gone about its work since they launched last July. Of course, following the transfer of the Code from the IoF, it was inevitable that the Regulator would want to look at this, review the standards it sets, and make sure that it continues to provide the basis for effective regulation of fundraising.

At the Institute, we welcome and are keen for this conversation to happen: standards are not set in stone and do need to change over time as fundraising practice develops and evolves. It’s also important that through the process the views and experiences of donors are captured and the expectations of the public are understood.

In a system of self or voluntary regulation it is essential that those that are the ‘self’ get involved in the opportunities to input and comment on regulatory changes. The effective regulation of fundraising can only happen when the regulators are informed and fully understand the impact and significance of proposed changes. That’s why it is positive that the Regulator is consulting openly and widely on this review and we hope that they receive a large number of responses from across the fundraising community.

We saw the value of full engagement around the recent proposals and decisions on the Fundraising Preference Service. While many were concerned about the ‘big red button’, through consultation and engagement with the Regulator the final outcome is a much more nuanced service that embeds donor choice and avoids the impact of people inadvertently being cut off from causes that they support. We want that dialogue and feedback with the Regulator to continue.

We’ll be responding formally to the consultation with the support of our Standards Advisory Board, chaired by Liz Tait, as well as through engagement with our other committees and views of members. We’ll be publishing a draft of our response too so that members can see what we’re likely to be saying.

Daniel Fluskey, Head of Policy & Research, Institute of Fundraising


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