The stories of the month - Fundraising

Lucy Caldicott
Lucy Caldicott

The new Fundraising Regulator has hired two charity representatives with fundraising expertise to the remaining two places on its board. Lord Grade, the interim chair, said it had also appointed Suzanne McCarthy, chair of the Institute of Fundraising's standards committee, to chair its own standards committee, which will have responsibility for the Code of Fundraising Practice once its transfers to the regulator this summer. The two new board members are Lucy Caldicott, interim chief executive of the anti-bullying charity Diversity Role Models, and David Cunningham, chief executive of the Scottish charity the Archie Foundation.

Cancer Research UK expects to lose millions of pounds in income after introducing an opt-in-only policy for its fundraising communications. The policy, which now applies to new donors and will concern all supporters from April 2017, means CRUK will be able to contact people only if they have given explicit permission. Ed Aspel, executive director of fundraising and marketing at CRUK, said the policy would cost the charity millions in the short-term. CRUK already had an opt-in policy for its email and text communications, but the new policy also covers mail and telephone fundraising.

The Fundraising Standards Board upheld a complaint against Age UK after it made a fundraising call to someone who was registered with the Telephone Preference Service. In an adjudication report, the FRSB said that in April 2015 the TPS-registered complainant received a fundraising call from an agency on behalf of Age UK as part of a campaign to ask people to leave gifts to the charity in their wills. The charity believed it was justified in making the call because in 2002 the complainant had requested information about wills from Help the Aged (which merged with Age Concern to form Age UK in 2009). He had also signed up for an energy product through the commercial arm Age UK Enterprises, which he cancelled in 2014, and had asked for a motor insurance quote from the same company in 2015.

Fundraisers are now prohibited from sharing donors' data with third parties unless they have that person's express consent to do so, the Institute of Fundraising has ruled. A new requirement introduced to the Code of Fundraising Practice says charities cannot share an individual's personal data with third parties to use for marketing or fundraising purposes unless that person has provided explicit consent. This applies even if a charity will not be receiving payment for sharing the data. The new rule says explicit consent means an individual must have provided a positive indication that they agreed to their personal data being shared.

The Small Charities Coalition has urged the new Fundraising Regulator to reconsider its plans to introduce a Fundraising Preference Service, despite proposals not to require charities with annual incomes below £1m to check their fundraising campaigns against it. Responding to a consultation, the SCC said it did not believe the FPS was the best model to resolve the difficulties with charity fundraising practices. It said that the regulator should build on and simplify the user experience of the Mail Preference Service and the Telephone Preference Service. In its response to the consultation, the fundraising think tank Rogare recommended that small charities should not be exempt from the proposed FPS.

The Charity Commission has criticised a deal between a veterans charity and an agency that forced the charity to give up 80 per cent of money raised. The commission opened a regulatory case on Our Local Heroes Foundation, which provides grants to veterans, after receiving complaints that the public were not being told that only 20 per cent of donations were to be spent on charitable activities. The charity had signed an agreement with Targeted Management Ltd stipulating that it would be invoiced for 80 per cent of the funds raised.

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