IoF Board reviews composition of its Standards Committee, bringing public voice to the table

IoF Board reviews composition of its Standards Committee, bringing public voice to the table

25 June 2015

The Board of the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) has moved to ensure that the voice of the public and donors sit alongside those of fundraisers and the charity sector by revising the membership of its Standards Committee.

The IoF, which is in the process of recruiting an independent chair of Standards Committee, has further moved to bring the voice of donors and the public to setting the standards for fundraising by announcing that it is also to recruit three independent  lay members of the Committee. 

The change in make-up of Standards Committee comes as the IoF Board responds to calls that the voice of the public – including those who donate to charities – should be taken into account when standards are being set with which fundraisers need to comply. 

Peter Lewis, Chief Executive of the IoF, said: “Until now, the Institute of Fundraising has accepted that the public voice in standard setting for fundraising was represented by the Fundraising Standards Board, who have a seat on Standards Committee. 

“As we are now in the process of recruiting an Independent Chair of Standards Committee, we have decided to take the further step of recruiting three independent lay members to help inform the development of fundraising standards, and make sure the voice of the donor and the wider public is heard in setting those standards. 

“We hope that these independent members will help us be more proactive in setting standards which take into account the views of the public, rather than simply react to complaints expressed to the FRSB or individual adjudications. 

“We hope that the overall composition of Standards Committee, comprising the essential insight of fundraisers; the views of our self-regulatory partners; legal and consumer expertise; input from the public; all under the leadership of an Independent Chair, will enable us to react more quickly both to changes in fundraising practice and to public opinion. 

“We expect all fundraising organisations to comply with the Code of Fundraising Practice as they raise funds for their good causes. We hope that by refreshing the way we set these standards we can ensure the best balance between the duty of charities to fundraise on behalf of their beneficiaries with the need for them to maintain public trust and confidence as they do so.” 

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, which represents charities, said: “This is a sensible decision that will help to strengthen the self-regulation of fundraising, by ensuring the public interest is represented in setting standards.

“In the long term, it is in charities' interests to retain the confidence and the respect of the public. We need to work to high standards in order to do this. 

“I hope the IoF's decision will be the first in a number of steps that the bodies responsible for self-regulation will be taking to ensure the public can have greater confidence in fundraising and in its self-regulation.” 

The full make-up of the new membership of Standards Committee, which will come into place in September 2015 will be:

 

Independent members Partner organisation members IoF Members (fundraisers)
Independent Chair  Representative of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) Vice Chair/IoF Trustee
Independent lay member x3

Chief Executive of the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB)

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Legal representative - Bates Wells & Braithwaite

A representative from a consumer body

 IoF Member x5

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Chair of IoF Scotland Standards Committee

The following organisations will be invited as observers to Standards Committee: Charity Commission; Office of Civil Society; Northern Ireland Charity Commission; National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO); Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA); Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA).

Scottish Government, SCVO and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) will maintain their roles on IoF Scotland’s Standards Committee, as will legal advisers Turcan Connell. The chair of IoF Scotland Standards Committee is also a member of the IoF Standards Committee.