The voices of fundraisers must be heard in the new system of self-regulation

Institute of Fundraising

Peter Lewis | 8 January 2016

Fundraising is the lifeblood of charities across the UK. The billions of pounds donated from the public each year is essential to the delivery of services and work for good causes both at home and abroad.

This is perhaps especially true for smaller charities, where the margins are even tighter from month to month and where ties to local communities for donations and support is crucial, and it’s why we wanted to make sure that small charities views are heard as the new fundraising regulator starts to be established. 

On Wednesay, I met with Stephen Dunmore, the recently appointed Chief Executive of the new fundraising regulator, to discuss the recommendations in the Etherington review and to start what I hope will be a positive relationship between the IoF and the new regulator. I was encouraged by his openness to listen and his understanding of the need to work closely and constructively with the sector for the new system of self-regulation to be a success. We’ll be creating a number of opportunities to bring together our members with the new regulator in different forums and events so that an ongoing dialogue and discussion with the full breadth of the fundraising sector across the UK can take place. 

We’ve heard from our members, and from fundraisers through our regional networks across the country, that some smaller charities haven’t been able to contribute as fully as they would like in the discussions and debates on fundraising regulation and want to have the opportunity to put forward their views, ideas, and thoughts on the proposed changes 

So I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to work in partnership with the Small Charities Coalition to jointly survey our members on their views, and to put on the forum on the 4 February. One of the key challenges I set out for the new fundraising regulator to address was how to recognise the needs of the full range of fundraising organisations, and to do this requires engagement with different groups. It’s a strong signal of intent that both Stephen Dunmore and George Kidd, the Chair of the Fundraising Preference Service, working group have both agreed to attend and address the forum, as well as hear the views of smaller charities at the forum. It’s a great opportunity to get the dialogue going and for smaller charities to have their voices heard. 

Of course engaging and discussion with fundraisers and charities across the UK can never be a one off. It needs to be meaningful and part of an ongoing process of consultation and involvement, but this forum is a positive start. As the membership body for fundraisers, we will redouble our work to put forward our members’ views and priorities to the new regulator, government, and any other stakeholders so that we can achieve the best regulatory environment for fundraisers and fundraising organisations. 

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