Most small charities 'concerned about impact of Fundraising Preference Service'

Telephone fundraising
Telephone fundraising

About six out of 10 small charities are concerned about the administrative and cost burden of the proposed Fundraising Preference Service, according to new research published by the Institute of Fundraising and the Small Charities Coalition.

Asked to choose from a list of 12 possible responses what they felt would be the effects of the introduction of the FPS, which would enable people to opt out of all charity direct mail and telephone calls, 59 per cent of respondents said they thought it would lead to a greater administrative burden and the same proportion said they thought it would be likely to "result in increased cost for checking against a suppression list".

Forty-one per cent of respondents, who could choose more than one answer, said they thought it would cause a fall in donations; 3 per cent expected a rise.

Twenty-nine per cent of respondents said they thought the FPS would lead to an improvement of the public image of charities.

The survey attracted 631 responses from charities with annual incomes of less than £1m and was carried out online in December and January. It also found that although 39 per cent of respondents said the new Fundraising Regulator should be funded by charities that spend more than £100,000 a year on fundraising, 34 per cent said it should be funded by government.

The research also found that almost half of respondents – 45 per cent – said they were unfamiliar with Sir Stuart Etherington’s review of fundraising regulation.

The research was carried out in response to concerns that the views of small charities would not be heard in debates about the changes being made to fundraising regulation after Etherington’s review.

The results have been published today before a meeting this afternoon of small charities to consider fundraising regulation, facilitated by the IoF

John Barrett, chief executive of the Small Charities Coalition, said: "With more than 150,000 registered small charities in England & Wales, and thousands more who are too small to register, it is essential that the views of these organisations are taken into account during fundraising regulation reform.

"It is important to remember that the potential changes will have a disproportionate impact on smaller charities, because they will inevitably find it harder to comply than larger and better resourced charities. The system therefore needs to be affordable and compliance simple."

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