Debate: Will random audits improve the public's perception of fundraising?

The Fundraising Standards Board is to introduce random examinations of charities' revenue-raising methods

FRSB is to introduce audits of charities' revenue-raising methods
FRSB is to introduce audits of charities' revenue-raising methods

Jayne George, director of fundraising and income generation, Guide Dogs

Jayne George, director of fundraising and income generation, Guide DogsIf the public is made aware of this move by the FRSB, which will see the end of charities certifying themselves, it can only serve to improve people's perception of fundraising.

Of course, most charities are responsible, but this change will be seen to provide an extra layer of checks by an independent organisation. Hopefully, if the public's perception of fundraising is improved, this will lead to increased confidence in how donations are being used and people will be more likely to give to charities.

Rachel Waldron, head of development, Elephant Family

Rachel Waldron, head of development, Elephant FamilyIn an increasingly bureaucratic sector, the word 'audit' is likely to elicit a groan rather than a cheer. But once the inevitable grumbles subside, we can see this as another small but significant step along the road to keeping public faith in fundraising.

Audits alone won't improve public perception, but the lack of them until now has made the sector vulnerable to criticism.

For this reason, it deserves a big fundraising salute. The FRSB strapline is "give with confidence", and that is just what we want for all our donors.

David Burrows, head of fundraising, TDA

David Burrows, head of fundraising, TDAThere is no single measure that will dramatically boost public perception, but every little helps.

The word 'audit' implies a thorough examination by an independent expert - it needs to be more credible than self-certification.

That said, the audit needs to be genuinely meaningful, not just an exercise in counting up how often the FRSB logo is displayed. I hope that charities receive a detailed report, highlighting any shortcomings. Perhaps there should be a score for compliance? Charities with five-star ratings could add this to their marketing materials.

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