Charity Commission should charge registration or membership fees, says Institute of Fundraising

The watchdog should also concentrate on regulation rather than advice, says the institute's response to consultation

Louise Richards, director of policy and campaigns, IoF
Louise Richards, director of policy and campaigns, IoF

The Charity Commission should charge charities registration or annual membership fees, according to the Institute of Fundraising.

In response to the regulator’s consultation on its strategic review, which closed last week, the institute says the commission should focus on regulating charities rather than on giving advice and information.

The response says some of the commission’s regulatory functions could be taken on by bodies such as the Fundraising Standards Board, while other functions, such as giving out advice, could be taken on by bodies such as the institute.

Money raised through charges could be shared with organisations that could help take on some of the commission’s responsibilities, the response says.

Self-regulation of the sector must not be reduced because of the £8m cuts in government funding the commission is facing over the next four years, it says.

"The cuts being faced by the Charity Commission are inevitably going to reduce the Charity Commission’s ability to fulfil its regulatory functions, and this is likely to result in a loss of public trust and confidence," says the response.

Louise Richards, director of policy and campaigns at the IoF, told Third Sector she would support an increase from £5,000 to £10,000 a year in the income threshold at which charities have to register with the commission.

"That would fit in nicely with the idea of doing away with excessive bureaucracy," she said.

Richards said the institute did not support the proposition that the commission should be able to refuse to register new organisations if charities with similar objectives already existed. She said this would be too complicated and might mean that organisations such as Help for Heroes would not have been registered.

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