Consult small charities before reforming fundraising regulation, says Navca's Neil Cleeveley

The chief executive of the local infrastructure body says some of the proposals could do serious harm to small and medium-sized charities

Neil Cleeveley
Neil Cleeveley

The local infrastructure body Navca has called for the proposed reforms of fundraising regulation to be put on hold until small charities have been consulted.

Neil Cleeveley, chief executive of the charity, said the proposals put forward to reform the self-regulation of fundraising after a series of negative stories in the national media over the summer could do "serious harm" to many small and medium-sized local charities.

"I am angry that the consequences of large charities behaving badly are borne by all charities rather than those responsible," he said.

Cleeveley said that Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, made the point in a blog published earlier this week that the plans must consider the full range of organisations.

"This is not currently the case," said Cleeveley. "Smaller charities have been swept up without any consideration and Navca members, who work with smaller charities day in and day out, feel that at no point have their views been considered.

"As a result, we currently have plans that could do serious harm to many small and medium-sized local charities, many already under considerable pressure. These proposals should be halted until the implications for smaller charities are fully considered."

Navca’s comments come the day before representatives from about 60 or 70 of the top fundraising charities and organisations, including the IoF, the Public Fundraising Association and the Small Charities Coalition, gather in London to discuss the proposed fundraising reforms.

The meeting, which is being held at the offices of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, will hear presentations from Lord Grade, interim chair of the new Fundraising Regulator, on its establishment and possible next steps, and William Shawcross, chair of the Charity Commission, on its new draft CC20 fundraising guidance.

Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society, will also make a speech setting out his thoughts on the regulation of fundraising.

The meeting will be chaired by Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, who was appointed by the government in July to lead a review of the self-regulation of fundraising.

Among the recommendations in his report, published in September, were the creation of a new fundraising regulator and the establishment of a Fundraising Preference Service, which would enable people to opt out of receiving all charity direct mail and telephone fundraising calls.

The meeting, which is scheduled to start at 11am and last for two hours, includes significant time for questions and discussion about the points raised.

The IoF has been among the organisations to express concern about the creation of an FPS. Ealier this week it warned that a single "reset button" would not satisfy charities or donors.

Attendance at the event is by invitation only, but it will be streamed live here and a recording will be available afterwards.

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