Lord Hodgson repeats his call for one fundraising regulatory body

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts
Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts has reiterated his call for a single body to replace the three organisations that oversee charity fundraising, saying this could be called the Charity Fundraising Association.

Speaking to Third Sector yesterday, the Conservative peer, who carried out the official review of the Charities Act 2006, said the single body should have one email address and one website.

He said a charity hotline – something the Institute of Fundraising was considering introducing so that people could call in if they had concerns about charity communications – could be managed within the body.

Hodgson told a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Civil Society and Volunteering last year that there should be one body to oversee the sector’s fundraising activities, instead of what he called the "alphabet soup" of the IoF, the Fundraising Standards Board and the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, which he said was confusing for the public.

He told Third Sector yesterday that Alistair McLean, chief executive of the Fundraising Standards Board, understood the public concern about fundraising practice, particularly in the aftermath of the death of the poppy seller Olive Cooke, but that the other fundraising self-regulatory bodies "do not really get it".

He said there was little he could do to ensure that fundraising practices improved, but Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society, had asked for his advice.

Referring to his review of the Charities Act 2006, published in 2012, Hodgson said: "The trouble is, I’ve made my recommendations already and not many of them have been taken up."

Asked for his response, Peter Lewis, chief executive of the IoF, said he believed the membership body had responded quickly to public concerns, making swift amendments to the code and setting up task groups that would review the recommendations made by the FRSB in its interim report on the Cooke case.

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