Shawcross reappointed to regulator | FRSB recommends doorstep fundraising opt-out | Academy school charity may be investigated over dating agency

Plus: NCVO to spend £50,000 on 'charity sector newsroom' | Lord Hodgson to review lobbying act | Fundraising Initiatives agency buys R Fundraising

William Shawcross
William Shawcross

William Shawcross has been reappointed as the chair of the Charity Commission, Francis Maude, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, has announced. In his second three-year term, which takes effect on 1 February, Shawcross will increase the number of days per week that he works from two to three.

The Fundraising Standards Board has recommended the creation of a "doorstep preference service" which would allow people to opt out of unsolicited home calls from fundraisers. This comes after the regulator rejected a complaint from someone who received a visit from a doorstep fundraiser despite displaying a "no cold calling" sign on their property. The complainant was told by the charity that it intended to continue approaching households displaying such signs unless the Institute of Fundraising’s Code of Fundraising Practice was changed to say this should not happen.

The Charity Commission’s chief executive Paula Sussex has told MPs on the Public Accounts Committee that the regulator may open a statutory inquiry into a charity associated with an academy school, after it emerged that a dating agency in which the headteacher has a stake had been registered at the school’s address. This follows an earlier hearing where MPs heard that Sir Greg Martin, the headteacher of Durand Academy in south London, received almost £400,000 from his school salary and from income earned through running a leisure centre on the school’s site.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations will spend £50,000 on exploring how to set up a "charity sector newsroom" in order to encourage the media to cover stories about charities more frequently and in a more positive way. The news emerged at a meeting of the Understanding Charities Group, organised by CharityComms, where voluntary sector executives gathered to discuss ways of strengthening public trust and confidence in charities.

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts has been appointed by the government to review the lobbying act and the way it is working for organisations including charities. Hodgson, who also carried out the review of the Charities Act 2006, will report on the operation and effectiveness of the provisions regulating third-party campaigning during the forthcoming general election.

The fundraising agency Fundraising Initiatives has bought the telephone fundraising and outsourcing agency R Fundraising, forming one of the largest such companies in the UK. R Fundraising will become a subsidiary of the group but will retain its brand name and structure in the move, which gives Fundraising Initiatives access to an extra 200 fundraising staff and to offices in Manchester and Dunfermline.

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