Standards board forced to alter logo

The Fundraising Standards Board has been obliged to alter its logo after objections from the Federation of Small Businesses. The abbreviation of its name becomes FRSB instead of FSB and the letter 'r' in 'fundraising' has been turned into a capital on the logo. The board did not anticipate any problems when it researched and launched its tick logo in June last year.

Old and new logos (left and right); Federation of Small Businesses logo (centre)
Old and new logos (left and right); Federation of Small Businesses logo (centre)

But the federation has been using the abbreviation FSB since 1990 and has registered it as a trademark. It was concerned the duplication would be misleading.

The changes have been agreed after a meeting between the two organisations and their lawyers. Charities will be allowed to use up stocks of printed material with the old logo on it, but the new logo must be in use by November 1.

Stephen Alambritis, head of public affairs for the Federation for Small Businesses, said that if an agreed solution had not been reached, it would have taken further legal action.

“We felt that the Fundraising Standards Board setting themselves up as the FSB would be muddying the picture and that people would be confused,” he said. “Occasionally there is a story about FSB membership up or about FSB recruitment and people might think it is us.

“They have just launched and set up their website and literature and we realise that conceivably it will take some time to readjust. We understand that all their media and press shots will have to be changed.”

A statement from the board said: “We are having amicable legal discussions with the federation and are working towards an agreement that will not have major financial implications for our members.”

Jon Scourse, chief executive of the board, said the federation got in touch during the process of registering the logo. “Whilst their acronym is used widely within the business community, we did not envisage any issue with the board working as a regulator in the charity sector,” he said.

“Our ‘tick’ logo is only minimally affected by incorporating this change and it is unlikely to affect public awareness of the scheme. This is the most cost-effective solution for the board, and we have tried to find a way that will cause the least disruption to our members.”

Charities that have joined the FSB have been told of the change and been sent the revised logo.

Philip Lawder, who carried out consumer research into the identity and values of the Fundraising Standards Board said: “Having obtained clear feedback from consumers about their understanding of the ‘tick’ and its meaning, I am confident that the revised version will carry the same values of reassurance and confirmation of quality.”

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