Four in five charities are failing to fully comply with fundraising reporting duties

Almost 80 per cent of charities are failing to fully comply with reporting requirements introduced in the wake of the fundraising controversies of 2015. 

A report today from the Fundraising Regulator says only 21 per cent of the charities it surveyed provided all the required information in their annual reports on different aspects of their fundraising activities. 

The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 says charities with annual incomes of more than £1m must provide statements in their annual reports in six areas, including what it does to protect vulnerable people in relation to its fundraising activities, how it monitors any fundraising activity carried out on behalf of the charity, and how many complaints it received. 

The regulator reviewed the annual accounts of 187 charities that spent more than £100,000 on fundraising, meaning they were highly likely to be subject to the reporting requirements. 

It found that only 40 per cent of reports included a statement on protecting vulnerable people, 41 per cent included a statement on third-party monitoring, and 59 per cent provided details of the number of fundraising complaints received. 

“Many charities are reporting in high numbers on fundraising approach and, to a lesser extent, on voluntary regulations and schemes, and complaints,” the regulator’s report says. 

“However, we have identified that most organisations are not providing enough information about the reporting of monitoring of fundraising activities carried out on behalf of the charity, numbers of complaints and, crucially, what they are doing to protect vulnerable people and other members of the public while fundraising.”

The report says that although this is only the second year that the reporting requirements applied, there has been “little improvement” in the situation compared with a similar exercise it carried out last year. 

It has produced guidance for charities, including examples, to help them comply with the reporting requirements. 

Gerald Oppenheim, chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator, said: “Although there is still work to do to achieve compliance with the reporting requirements, it’s positive to see most charities reporting on their fundraising approach, thereby demonstrating their commitment to transparency.

“As we approach year three of these reporting requirements, I urge charities and trustees to read our guidance, not only because the law requires these areas to be reported on but, most importantly, because this gives supporters more information about charities’ fundraising activities. 

“We remain committed to working with the sector to achieve comprehensive, detailed reports and our updated guidance is designed to help facilitate this.”

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