The Fundraising Regulator has begun sending letters to charities that are expected to pay an annual levy to fund the watchdog’s running costs.
The regulator said today that it had written to the 62 charities with the largest annual expenditures on fundraising to set out the charging structure and point out that invoices will follow, with payment due within 30 days.
The regulator said it was writing in six phases over the next few weeks to the approximately 2,100 charities in England and Wales that spend more than £100,000 a year on fundraising.
Charges levied on charities range from £150 per annum for those spending between £100,000 and £149,999 a year on fundraising to £15,000 for those that spend more than £50m a year.
The letter, signed by Stephen Dunmore, chief executive of the regulator, and Lord Grade, its chair, says the payment is voluntary but points out that the government retains a close interest in the regulation of fundraising and has reserve powers that could enforce payment of the levy "should that become necessary".
It says the charges, which will be levied for the year beginning 1 September 2016, will go towards the regulator’s running costs and the costs associated with setting up the Fundraising Preference Service, which is expected to be introduced in the spring.
The regulator’s budgets for the next three years will include provision for reserves to be built up "to the minimum required prudentially to cover costs associated with enforcing case-management decisions or closure if either arose".
The amount that charities will be asked to pay will be set for the next three years, based on the amounts that they said they spent on fundraising in the annual returns they filed with the Charity Commission for the year ending 31 December 2014.
The regulator said two charities would be asked to pay the highest amount of £15,000 a year; 383 will be expected to contribute £150 a year, the lowest levy.
Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, whose report on fundraising self-regulation led to the creation of the new regulator, said he hoped charities would support the new watchdog.
"Over the past year charities have shown their support for the new system of self-regulation and their commitment to driving up standards in fundraising," he said.
"It is an important signal that charities themselves will fund the new Fundraising Regulator, which has more powers and is responsible for upholding tighter standards.
Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, said in a statement : "Charities called for a stronger regulator and the new Fundraising Regulator has the support of the fundraising community.
"We are certain that charities will want to show their commitment to high standards by registering with the regulator. The IoF will continue to expand support for our members to achieve excellent fundraising for donors and beneficiaries."