FRSB to say which members have submitted their complaints returns

Alistair McLean of the Fundraising Standards Board says 80 per cent comply with the requirement

FRSB chief executive Alistair McLean
FRSB chief executive Alistair McLean

The Fundraising Standards Board will indicate on its website whether member charities have complied with their obligation to provide data on fundraising complaints.

It announced it would introduce the measure as it called for members to complete their annual complaints return forms, which summarise all their fundraising activities and complaints received during 2011.

It said that from June, the FRSB’s website would clearly show whether each member had filed its return, which is a core membership requirement. But it will not show how many complaints each charity has received.

Alistair McLean, chief executive of the FRSB, said that although 80 per cent of members submitted their complaint statistics, it wanted to see the proportion rise further.

"By publicly acknowledging those members that have completed their returns, we believe that we are giving others an extra spur to action, ensuring greater transparency to the public," he said.

"At the same time, the team here has worked hard to ensure that the return itself is even easier to complete and members understand what is expected of them and when complaints must be filed. Nevertheless, we are of course on hand to help members complete their returns if they have any problems along the way."

McLean said the FRSB would not publish the number of complaints individual charities received because this was collected on a confidential basis so that the overall trends could be analysed. 

"I think that's a better way for us and the sector to look at areas of improvement," he said. "It would not be constructive to highlight certain charities."

All members who joined the FRSB before July last year have until 16 March to submit their compulsory complaints returns. The figures will be published in the FRSB’s annual report in June, alongside analysis of trends in complaints by Adrian Sargeant, professor of fundraising at Bristol Business School.

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