When asked earlier this year what attracted him to the role of interim chief executive of the new Fundraising Regulator, Stephen Dunmore replied: "I really enjoy a role that is politically significant."
His role certainly ticks this box. Government ministers have been monitoring closely the new regulator that Dunmore has been charged with setting up and have asserted that statutory regulation will be introduced if it fails. Consequently Dunmore, who started at the regulator in January, has had his hands full over the past four months.
But time will be of the essence if he wants to fulfill his ambition of taking over bu June the Institute of Fundraising’s Code of Fundraising Practice, which sets out the standards expected of fundraisers, and taking on the workload of the existing regulator, the Fundraising Standards Board.
In this morning’s keynote session, Dunmore, a former chief executive of the Big Lottery Fund, will provide an update on the progress he has made towards these aims.
He is likely to talk about the consultation the new regulator will hold in May about the levy it wants to charge charities that spend at least £100,000 a year on fundraising. The levy is expected to come into force by the end of June, but questions remain about how happy charities are to pay for the regulator’s work.
Other themes likely to be covered include an update on how many large charities have agreed to contribute to the new regulator’s start-up costs. In February, Dunmore wrote to the top 50 fundraising charities asking for contributions of £15,000, but the sight-loss charity the RNIB has so far refused to pay, citing uncertainties about use of the money.
Questions also remain about whether the regulator will have the necessary knowledge and skills to regulate the fundraising sector. So far it has appointed seven people to its board; two more will follow. However, none of those appointed have any direct fundraising experience, prompting fears about whether fundraisers’ views will be properly represented. This session gives Dunmore the chance to answer such questions.