Earlier this year, Stewardship registered with the Fundraising Regulator. We thought we’d take this opportunity to share 7 helpful facts that we learnt when signing up to the Code of Fundraising Practice. Fundraising covers many different types of activities, from receiving gifts as a church, to undertaking special events like a sponsored walk and even talking to potential donors about legacies.
- By signing up with the Regulator, your Charity will be registered within the Fundraising Regulator directory, showing that you have committed to following the Code of Fundraising Practice. The code aims to:
- Promote a consistent, high standard of fundraising
- Make sure charitable institutions, their governing bodies and fundraisers know what is expected of them
- Set out the standards we use when considering complaints
- Provide benchmark for organisations and fundraisers to assess their practices against so they can identify necessary training and monitor and set policy priorities for their fundraising; and
- Develop a culture of honesty, openness and respect between fundraisers and the public
- Once signed up with the Fundraising Regulator you are allowed to use the Fundraising Badge. The badge being displayed on your fundraising materials and website shows existing and potential donors that you are committed to good fundraising practices - a great endorsement to your charity.
- The Fundraising Regulator can investigate complaints into fundraising. Ideally, the first stage is for complainants to resolve their issue direct with the Fundraiser. Where the complainant is not satisfied with the response they can send the details to the regulator; the regulator will decide whether to take the case on. By taking on a case, they can help support an individual whose influence would be otherwise deemed unbalanced.
- The Fundraising Regulator can investigate fundraising complaints on any organisations, they are not restricted to those who are registered with the regulator, so all fundraisers should be aware of the code and endeavour to uphold its principles. The Fundraising Regulator will publish and name the fundraisers following all complaints investigated, these can be seen as a ‘name and shame’ practice. Their investigation will summarise the complaint, what happened, their decision, recommendations and outcome.
- The fundraising code provides some really useful information to fundraisers about handling donors who are in vulnerable circumstances, ensuring that all donors are treated fairly and gives guidance on when donations should be refused or returned.
- In terms of Legacies, the code highlights that this area can be perceived as a sensitive area of fundraising. The code therefore sets clear and helpful boundaries for charities in this area, including the various ways to approach potential legators, for example in face-to-face meetings and written communications.
- The Fundraising Regulator oversees the Fundraiser Preference Service. This service allows the public to control any direct marketing communications that that they receive from fundraising organisations. The public can choose to stop receiving emails, telephone calls, addressed post and text messages from a selected charity(s). In the past the Fundraising Regulator has reported charities who have not acted upon these requests to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), who have the power to fine these organisations.
We hope you found this article useful. You can sign up with the Fundraising Regulator from as little as £50 per year for a small charity. Full details are on their webpage.