Fundraising regulator needs more members, says Hope

The first annual review from the Fundraising Standards Board has prompted a warning from third sector minister Phil Hope that many more organisations must join it if self-regulation of fundraising is to succeed.

The review says that, of 8,434 complaints to the 826 members of the FRSB in the year to February, 31 per cent were about direct mail, 21.7 per cent about data protection, 21.1 per cent about telephone fundraising and 13.6 per cent about face-to-face fundraising.

Hope said: “The FRSB’s first year gives it a good platform to take self-regulation forward, and we are confident it has the potential to succeed.

“However, many more organisations will need to join in the coming year to convince us that the sector has the will to fully embrace self-regulation and make it work.”

The review, Driving Up Standards, analyses the FRSB’s impact since its launch in February last year, including the handling and resolving of complaints and surveys of public opinion.

Jon Scourse, chief executive of the FRSB, said: “Taken together with the findings from our first public attitude research report, it would appear that the practice of direct mail is causing concern and problems for many charities and supporters alike.

“The high number of complaints about data protection issues is a worrying statistic given that this issue is bound by legal requirements.”

Scourse added: “If self-regulation for the charity sector fails, it is implicit that the Government has the powers to impose statutory systems of regulation on charitable fundraising.”

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