We would consider 'naming and shaming' online platforms, says Fundraising Regulator chief

Gerald Oppenheim, chief executive of the regulator, says the ultimate sanction for any platform that failed to follow its recommendations in the wake of a complaint would be public censure

Gerald Oppenheim
Gerald Oppenheim

The Fundraising Regulator would consider "naming and shaming" any online fundraising platform that failed to comply with its recommendations after a complaint, its chief executive has said.

Gerald Oppenheim, who was speaking at a Westminster Social Policy Forum event in central London yesterday, was responding to a question about the options the regulator had to impose its decisions on online fundraising platforms, particularly when most platforms cannot be referred to the Charity Commission.

He said the ultimate sanction for such a company would be to have its reputation damaged by public censure from the regulator.

Many online fundraising platforms are in the process of registering with the Fundraising Regulator, and in June it added a section about the platforms to the Code of Fundraising Practice, which requires them to be transparent about their fees and complaints processes.

If the regulator were to receive a complaint about a platform, Oppenheim said, it would initially investigate a complaint, then seek to share findings and offer suggestions for improvement, in the way it does for charities.

"If they did not pick up on our regulations for change, in an extreme case I think we’d go public – name and shame," Oppenheim said. "That’s the ultimate sanction, that loss of reputation."

The regulator’s experience with charities’ responses to recommendations had been positive, he said.

"By and large they’re pretty good about it," Oppenheim said. "I would have the same expectation of the platforms."

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