Hot issue: Has the standards board hit the spot with its development plan?

Has the standards board hit the spot with its development plan?

The Fundraising Standards Board plans to introduce a number of changes, including a new sliding scale of membership and an advisory board.

YES - Aneesha Moreira, director of fundraising, British Heart Foundation

It's encouraging that the FRSB has listened to its members over the summer and responded to our concerns and suggestions with this development plan. If members are committed to self-regulation, then we need to be sure that the scheme is on a firm financial footing. For this reason, the increase in fees is justifiable.

We will, of course, be looking for good value for money. In particular, I look forward to seeing the proposals for engaging with members and giving them more support in areas such as handling complaints.

Ultimately, I believe that the plan will be a success only if the current membership gets fully behind it and more organisations join. It is as much our responsibility to make self-regulation a success as it is that of the FRSB. Some of us have made a start by committing ourselves fully to promoting the scheme's brand on our fundraising materials, websites and in communications with donors.

By doing this, we will be showing that the sector can work together to build and maintain public trust and confidence in charity fundraising.

NO - Andrew Scadding, chief executive, Pattaya Orphanage Trust

What does this new phase of development actually mean? Revised fee scales, no need for trustees to sign up to the charter, clearer terms and conditions, more effective work with sector umbrella bodies and, finally, an advisory board.

But the FRSB still hasn't persuaded enough of us that it is useful. The new advisory board may give it the appearance of accountability, but the idea lacks substance - and the other measures are worthy but trivial. If fundraisers wish to be accepted as professionals, we must have a standards board - an essential part of a mature profession. But is the FRSB the right candidate for the job?

It expects charities to pay for it, but has stubbornly refused to be accountable to them, financially or otherwise. A fee increase unaccompanied by meaningful financial information is simply insulting to professional fundraisers.

If the FRSB is to win the wholehearted support of fundraising professionals, a radical revision of its role and attitude is required. This package does not provide it.

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