IoF appoints Suzanne McCarthy as first independent chair of standards committee

McCarthy is the former Immigration Services Commissioner; she will have a three-year unpaid term at the Institute of Fundraising and will work a few days a month

Suzanne McCarthy
Suzanne McCarthy

The Institute of Fundraising has appointed the former Immigration Services Commissioner Suzanne McCarthy as the first independent chair of its standards committee.

McCarthy, who is also chair of the General Chiropractic Council and the youth homelessness charity Depaul UK, will become the first lay member to join its standards committee, which sets the Code of Fundraising Practice, the IoF has said.

McCarthy is a member the Advertising Standards Authority’s council and is on the boards of the University of London, the Human Tissue Authority, the Senet Group, which promotes responsible gambling standards, and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ UK and Ireland regulatory board.

She last week left the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner, which regulates immigration advisers, after 10 years with the organisation.

Her previous roles include being chief executive of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. She has worked as a solicitor in private practice and was a lecturer in law at the University of Manchester.

She has also been a member of the General Medical Council and the Royal Institute of British Architects.

McCarthy has been appointed to the IoF role on a three-year term. She will not be paid and will work "a few days a month" in the role, according to Peter Lewis, chief executive of the IoF.

Her appointment came as part of the IoF’s response to the criticism of charities’ fundraising techniques that came after the death of Olive Cooke.

A further three independent lay members will be appointed to the standards committee shortly, the IoF said.

McCarthy said in a statement that she was honoured to take on the responsibility of chairing the committee at a time when practices and standards in fundraising were under such scrutiny.

"Charities need to retain the confidence and respect of the public, especially when asking for donations and support," she said.

"I see it as my role as the new independent chair of the standards committee to continue to drive the development of fundraising standards, which balances the need of charities to raise money for their causes with the public’s desire to have a good experience when they give."

Richard Taylor, chair of the IoF, said: "It is crucial that the voice of donors and the public is heard alongside that of fundraisers as the standards for charity fundraising are reviewed and strengthened.

"We hope that the overall composition of the standards committee – comprising the essential insight of fundraisers, the views of our self-regulatory partners, legal and consumer expertise and input from the public, all under Suzanne McCarthy’s leadership – will enable us to react more quickly both to changes in fundraising practice and to public opinion."

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