BUSE COMMISSION REPORT: Sector warmly receives recommendations

Emma Maier

The Buse Commission's recommendations for the future of self-regulation of charity fundraising have been broadly welcomed by sector leaders, despite concerns over the proposal that charities should contribute towards the running costs of the scheme.

Umbrella body the NCVO, the Institute of Fundraising, the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, CAF and the Charity Commission have expressed support for the proposals, which include setting up an independent body called the Charitable Fundraising Standards Board (CFSB) to oversee fundraising practices. The report also recommends creating a kite-mark so that charities can show their commitment to the scheme.

"Buse has achieved a balanced set of recommendations which create a solid foundation for the sector to take forward," said Rosie Chapman, director of policy and strategy at the Charity Commission. "It's vital that the final model for self-regulation puts the public first, both in terms of accountability and accessibility. We look forward to the development of this initial framework by the sector with these principles in mind."

But the Institute of Fundraising has concerns with the notion that charities should contribute towards the ongoing running costs of the project. The report anticipates that the CFSB would cost in the region of £300,000 per year to run, and suggests that the sector should cover one-third of this cost. If 3,000 charities were to sign up, each would pay an average of £35 per year, although this may be adjusted according to income.

"The institute remains to be convinced that fundraising organisations should pay for the independent CFSB," the Institute of Fundraising said in a statement. "We agree that it is vital that full funding does not result in a loss of independence for the board."

Nevertheless, the institute supports the main findings of the Buse Commission, and has offered to provide the CFSB with office space in order to keep costs down.

The institute will now use the consultation period to discuss the proposals with its membership. The NCVO has also urged the sector to respond to the consultation document.

"The report is the first very important step in preserving public trust and confidence in fundraising, and it is crucial that voluntary organisations respond to the consultation," said NCVO press officer James Georgalakis.

"This is a sector initiative and it is very important that the sector feels that it owns it."

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