23 September, 2015
Today is an important day for the sector. Following a summer of negative media coverage about charities and their fundraising tactics, the Charity Fundraising Review – chaired by NCVO’s Stuart Etherington – has recommended an overhaul of fundraising practice and how it’s regulated.
The report’s recommendations seem fairly obvious: a single regulator, a clear code of practice, increased Trustee responsibility, and an emphasis on the experience of donors including the creation of a fundraising preference service that enables supporters to opt out of appeals.
They are all good, sensible steps and the response within the sector has generally been positive and rallying. However, as with most things in life, the devil is in the detail and there are concerns about the preference service, in particular, with donors able to opt out of all asks. There are also some interesting questions about the implications for wider communications. When does comms become fundraising, for example? And vice versa. Is it when there is an explicit ask, and does that mean that fundraising information can’t be included in other materials?
Whatever this means in practice, the sector must welcome the review’s recommendations and take all the steps necessary to regain public support. We cannot let poor standards and a lack of transparency undermine the good work charities do.
All this will take time and there are interesting months ahead for the sector: we may see an initial drop in fundraising income and charities, services and beneficiaries will, no doubt, be affected, but for the long-term health of the sector and its public reputation, this review can only be a good thing. Three cheers for common sense.
Let us know what you think @amzpr.