What's new in fundraising

What's new in fundraising

Felicity Spencer-Smith | 12 June 2018

Felicity summarises the most recent updates in the charity fundraising sector, looking at the latest on the new civil society strategy, local charities' fundraising skills, and the release of the latest Civil Society Almanac.

The month of May is dominated by those magic four letters and a special implementation date. The GDPR implementation date passed in a flurry of privacy notices, an interesting spectacle for fundraisers as many organisations used different engaging tactics to essentially market the same thing. Research from Charity Checkout reported that 57% of the public say they are likely to ask charities to delete their personal information, although for those who have good relationships with their supporters we are confident that won’t happen. It’s worth mentioning to any charities that haven’t got a GDPR strategy in place, you need to start now!

Here’s what else has been going on in the sector …


The future of cash and digital payments

Last week we published research that showed digital payments are on the rise, with the use of cash falling from 62% of all payments by volume in 2006, to 40% in 2016. Despite this, cash still plays an important part of people’s lives, with 2.7m people across the UK being entirely reliant on cash. We used this research to inform our response to the government’s consultation on the future of payments. Read the key findings and a summary of our response here.


Barclays report on Future of Charitable Giving

The Future of Charitable Giving report revealed that those aged 35 to 54 gave the most to charity in 2017 with online donations increasing. This has knocked the oldest age group off the top spot as the most generous donors, proving wrong the six in 10 charities that regard the over 50s as the focal age group for donations.

The report stated people aged 35 to 54 said they gave an average of £265 last year to charities, followed by £246 from under 35s, 57% of which said they were more likely to donate today than they were three years ago. Over 55s gave £168 in comparison


Ethical issues on accepting funds

Following the investigation on improper behaviour at fundraising events, we have updated and improved our guidance around accepting donations. As the stories in the media show, it’s a tricky area to navigate especially when you must consider your cause’s beneficiaries and your organisation’s ethics. It’s important for charities to know the rules, have an acceptance policy in place, and carefully consider what is best for your charity. This guidance is designed to help you reach the right decision for your organisation.


Civil Society Almanac

The latest data on charities and volunteering was published in NCVO’s Almanac and provides the most comprehensive data out now on the charity sector. Covering the period 2015-16, this provides insight into a period of concern for the fundraising sector and regulatory changes.

The key takeaways for the fundraising sector shows that the British public remain committed to the causes they care about. This is shown through the data; sector income hit a record £47.8bn, voluntary income increased by over half a billion which is nearly half of the voluntary sector’s income, spending on charitable activities increased by 8%, and donations from individuals drove the increase in the sector’s income.


Local charity and community group sustainability report

A new report from Localgiving revealed there is more to be done to support local charities in achieving sustainable income. The survey showed that 71% don’t believe they have the skills to run a successful fundraising campaign, whilst 49% said there is a distinct lack of grants and contracts offering unrestricted funds.


Fundraising Regulator issues new guidance on complaints

The Fundraising Regulator has published new guidance on complaints handling coinciding with a change to the Code of Fundraising Practice, which now requires charities to make their complaints procedures publicly available. It helps organisations to deal with complaints about fundraising, defining what a complaint is and outlining what is expected of the organisations. This is important information to help charities improve their donor experience and put their supporters first. Read the guidance here.


Charities respond to the Civil Society consultation

Organisations, charity workers, and members of the public submitted their responses to the government’s consultation on the new civil society strategy in April. We submitted our own response outlining the importance of building a skilled and confident fundraising sector, how fundraising is a key part of citizenship and participation, and why the new strategy should outline a roadmap for fundraising to grow and be a part of the work across government. Read Peter Lewis’ blog on what the fundraising sector needs from the new strategy.

We also signed a joint letter to Tracey Crouch, signed by 14 sector leaders. The signatories asked for government to reform on two key areas; ongoing sector engagement and the strategic use of funds to deliver long-term value for the sector. Read the letter here.


Retaining and growing trust in Scotland

OSCR, the Scottish charity regulator, has made positive movements in encouraging levels of public trust in Scotland. Scottish people have not lost trust in charities over the last two years despite negative media stories, according to OSCR last month. It's research showed a mean trust score of 6.14 out of 10 in 2018 compared to 6.08 in 2016, with Scottish people trusting local charities more than Scotland-wide, UK and international charities. These are encouraging findings and a great reminder that charities must continue to be open and transparent with their donors.

In the spirit of transparency, OSCR announced that it will allow members of the public to attend its board meetings. OSCR’s first open board meeting will take place on 12 June at Compass House in Dundee and will allow attendees to see the regulator’s decision making process.


And finally

Here are a few things to keep your eye on over the next few weeks

  • the largest professional fundraising event in Europe, Fundraising Convention from 2 - 4 July at the Barbican
  • the International Fundraising Summit of national fundraising associations on 5 July too!





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