Charities and fundraising bodies 'must have publicly available complaints procedure'

A change to the fundraising code, overseen by the Fundraising Regulator, also means charities must investigate complaints fairly, proportionately and without undue delay

Charities and third-party fundraisers must have a clear complaints procedure and make it publicly available, according to a new rule added to the Code of Fundraising Practice.

The code now also includes a requirement that charities investigate complaints fairly, proportionately and without undue delay, the Fundraising Regulator, which oversees the code, has announced.

Michael Smyth, chair of the Fundraising Regulator’s complaints and investigations committee, said the complaints the regulator had investigated since it was launched in 2016 had shown that some organisations were not handling complaints effectively.

To coincide with the new rule, the Fundraising Regulator published guidance yesterday explaining what a good complaints procedure would look like and how donor concerns should be handled.

The updated code and the guidance both call on organisations to regularly review the complaints they have received in order to use any lessons learned to inform future fundraising activity.

The change was made after a consultation on the code in February.

Smyth said: "It’s become clear from some of the cases we have investigated that some organisations need to improve the way they deal with complaints from the public about their fundraising practices.

"This guidance has been designed to help charities put in place an effective procedure to ensure any future complainant can settle their dispute with the charity directly."

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