Pegram: self-regulation is vital if public are to trust the sector

Charities that don't sign up to the Fundraising Standards Board risk falling victim to "pernicious and insidious dinner party conversations" about how they get their money, according to Giles Pegram, director of fundraising at the NSPCC.

Charities that don't sign up to the Fundraising Standards Board risk falling victim to "pernicious and insidious dinner party conversations" about how they get their money, according to Giles Pegram, director of fundraising at the NSPCC.

Speaking at the London launch event for the board's new Fundraising Promise last week, Pegram urged charities to join the 100 organisations that have already committed to the scheme.

"Self-regulation is the most significant decision to affect fundraising since Gift Aid," he said.

"Donors are looking for accountability and transparency. The FSB gives the sector a quality mark, which the NSPCC will promote at every opportunity because we feel fundraising will benefit from that increased confidence."

Andrew Nebel, UK director of marketing and communications at Barnardo's, added: "We enthusiastically support the FSB scheme. The donating public should rightly look carefully at any charity that is unprepared to commit to standards of best practice."

Farm Africa and deaf-blind charity Sense already use the board's quality assurance 'tick' logo on some of their advertising.

The Fundraising Promise, which will form the basis of the self-regulation scheme - due to launch in the new year - features six promises to donors (see Fact file).

Board director Jon Scourse said the priority was to recruit more organisations.

"We are focusing on building up membership," he said. "Unless we have a solid base, we can't have an effective public launch."

Scourse had said he wanted at least 500 charities to sign up before the launch, but at last week's event he was more cautious. "We are not being strict about the number of committed charities we launch with," he said.

"It will depend on the mix of organisations that sign up."

The FSB is about to begin a campaign to sign fundraising suppliers up to the scheme. It is also working with Councils for Voluntary Service in Hull and Kent on a campaign to persuade small fundraising charities to join before devising a strategy for the public launch.

FACT FILE

- The Fundraising Promise

- Charities that sign up to the FSB scheme for self-regulation are required to make these promises to donors, and to promote the promise to their supporters and the general public.

- We are committed to high standards

- We are honest and open

- We are clear

- We are respectful

- We are fair and reasonable

- We are accountable.

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