Charity Commission to update guidance on fundraising, Paula Sussex tells conference

The regulator's chief executive told the Trustee Conference 2015 that the changes would make the guidance stronger and clearer about trustee responsibilities

Paula Sussex
Paula Sussex

The Charity Commission will update its CC20 guidance on fundraising in response to the recent controversy surrounding charity fundraising, according to Paula Sussex, the regulator’s chief executive.

Sussex yesterday told delegates at the Trustee Conference 2015, organised by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and the charity law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite, that the commission would be consulting on any changes to the guidance in the near future.

A review by Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, carried out after a series of negative stories appeared in the national media over the summer, recommended the establishment of a new body for the self-regulation of charity fundraising.

In light of the controversy, said Sussex, the commission would be relaunching the fundraising guidance, making it stronger and more clear about exactly what responsibilities trustees had.

Sussex said the sector had "absolutely learned" from the issues raised over the summer. She told the audience of about 400 charity trustees: "I’m sure many of you will have had cause to pick up the phone to your chief executive and ask them ‘how we are going about bringing the money in?’"

She said this was a difficult issue for all charities and reflected a time of considerable austerity, which required creativity from the sector in terms of getting their messages out and bringing funding in. "However, as we saw during the summer, the balance was not maintained," she said.

A spokesman for the Charity Commission told Third Sector the consultation on the updated guidance would take place shortly, but could not give a specific date.

Sussex also kicked off the sixth annual Trustees’ Week at the conference with a call for greater diversity among trustees. She referred to commission data that showed only 0.5 per cent of the 943,000 trustees in England and Wales were aged between 18 and 24, despite this group representing 12 per cent of the population.

But women, she said, were generally well represented, making up 43.4 per cent of trustees. "Whether it is youth or disability or different backgrounds, it’s about all trustees and boards getting to understand their responsibilities and reaching out to the commission," she said.

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