Institute of Fundraising: Self-regulation will position best practice centre stage

Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising

Self-regulation is a clear opportunity to firmly establish best practice in fundraising throughout the sector. But what does it mean for Institute members?

The major change should, of course, be the best practice standards that you have already committed to rolling out more widely across the sector.

The introduction of self-regulation will see more organisations adopting the standards, and more professional fundraisers operating within best-practice guidelines.

Individual Institute members will be encouraged to engage with the organisations they work for to adopt the scheme. Organisational Institute members, alongside the fundraising community at large, are encouraged to sign up to the scheme and, over a set period of time, apply the self-regulation logo of accreditation to fundraising materials. This will mean signing up to a new set of compliance procedures where best practice standards are not only promoted, but actively policed to ensure they are being met.

In order to achieve the sector-wide engagement that is so crucial to its success, it is vital that self-regulation is an independent scheme.

An independent team will administer the scheme and report to a council, comprising representatives from within the sector, members of the public and other independent experts, who will be responsible for overseeing the development of fundraising standards and the management of the complaints procedures.

To preserve that independence, the scheme will not be linked to the Institute or any other membership body. But the good news for our members is that they will undoubtedly have a head start in adapting to the regulatory scheme.

Based on the Institute's Codes of Fundraising Practice and Donors' Charter, organisations that sign up to the scheme are making a commitment to meet these best practice standards, ensuring a single set of standards across the UK.

We will continue to add to and amend these Codes as part of our continual drive to achieve the highest standards in fundraising. But, Institute members will undoubtedly have an advantage here as you already understand and are committed to the same standards.

These standards will gain a higher profile and be strengthened by the adoption of stringent complaints procedures. These processes have been set in place in order to encourage the highest standards in fundraising practice. We hope that this will, with time, see donors questioning whether a fundraising organisation is signed up before they donate and, ultimately, making real headway in increasing public confidence in charities.

This page is edited by the membership manager, Institute of Fundraising, Park Place, 12 Lawn Lane, London SW8 1UD Tel 020 7840 1000 Fax 020 7840 1001 Email info@institute-of-fundraising.org.uk Website www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk

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