Institute of Fundraising to recruit three lay members to expanded standards committee

The IoF says it wants to 'bring the voice of donors and the public' to the body that oversees the Code of Fundraising Practice

Fundraising bodies: all represented on the committee
Fundraising bodies: all represented on the committee

The Institute of Fundraising is to recruit three lay members to an expanded standards committee, the body that oversees the Code of Fundraising Practice.

A statement released today by the IoF said the move would "bring the voice of donors and the public to setting the standards for fundraising".

This comes less than three weeks after the IoF and the other two fundraising self-regulatory bodies, the Fundraising Standards Board and the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, announced that an independent chair would be appointed to the committee as one of the changes propelled by the outcry over the Olive Cooke case.

According to the IoF website, the standards committee comprises 11 people from various parts of the voluntary sector, plus observers from the FRSB, the PFRA, the Charity Commission and the Office for Civil Society.

The IoF statement said the new committee, which would be in place by September, would consist of 15 people.

It said there would be four independent members including an independent chair, representatives from the PFRA, the FRSB, a consumer body and a legal representative, plus seven IoF members, including the chair of the IoF Scotland standards committee.

The Charity Commission and the Office for Civil Society, it said, would continue to be invited to send observers, and observers from each of the four main voluntary sector umbrella bodies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would also be invited.

The IoF said the move showed that it was responding to calls that the voice of the public should be taken into account when the standards for fundraisers were set.

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the IoF, said in a statement: "We hope that these independent members will help us be more proactive in setting standards which take into account the views of the public, rather than simply react to complaints expressed to the FRSB or individual adjudications."

He said he hoped the overall composition of the committee would enable the institute to react more quickly to changes in fundraising practice and public opinion.

The IoF statement included a quote from Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, who said it was a sensible decision.

"In the long term, it is in charities' interests to retain the confidence and the respect of the public," he said. "We need to work to high standards in order to do this.

 "I hope the IoF's decision will be the first in a number of steps that the bodies responsible for self-regulation will be taking to ensure the public can have greater confidence in fundraising and in its self-regulation."

Etherington last week said that the self-regulation of fundraising was not working and "clear blue water" should be put between the IoF and the Code of Fundraising Practice.

Andy Ricketts

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