Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations begins informal review of fundraising regulation

The review, ordered by the Scottish government and led by voluntary sector representatives, will report back by the end of August

SCVO: review starts
SCVO: review starts

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations has launched an informal review of fundraising in Scotland to assess whether the existing system of public charity fundraising self-regulation is working.

Earlier this month, the Scottish government asked the SCVO to carry out the review after concerns were raised in the national media about the fundraising practices of charities. The review will take place alongside the review of fundraising in England and Wales that is being carried out by Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council of Voluntary Organisations.

The Scotland review, which will report back by the end of August, will be led by a group of voluntary sector representatives. The SCVO plans to launch a survey next week to establish the views of the public, charities and professional fundraisers about fundraising practices.

John Downie, director of public affairs at the SCVO, said in a statement: "Charities in Scotland have earned high levels of public trust, but high-profile media reports of poor fundraising practice south of the border are damaging the strong reputation that charities rely on to attract donations and volunteers.

"The review will consider what reasonable steps can be taken to strengthen public trust, put a stop to any bad practice and make sure that giving to charity is a positive experience for people in Scotland."

Fraser Hudghton, national manager at the Institute of Fundraising Scotland, said: "The structure of the self-regulatory system in Scotland and the enforcement of fundraising rules are key areas where our profession needs to do some serious thinking. As a sector we also need to ensure maximum transparency around charity fundraising in Scotland and better communicate with the public about who oversees best practice. Adherence to the Code of Fundraising Practice is a must for charities."

The news comes after it was announced earlier this week that the telephone fundraising and outsourcing agency R Fundraising, which is principally located in Dunfermline, Scotland, was to close after several of its biggest charity clients cancelled their contracts in the aftermath of the death of Olive Cooke.

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