Fundraising Regulator chief says 90 per cent of levy already paid

At the regulator's annual meeting yesterday, Gerald Oppenheim said 20 charities that had never previously paid the levy had done so this time

Gerald Oppenheim
Gerald Oppenheim

The Fundraising Regulator has already received 90 per cent of the money due for the year-three fundraising levy in just six weeks, including 20 charities that had never previously agreed to pay it, the watchdog’s chief executive has said.

The regulator is funded by a voluntary levy paid by charities that spend more than £100,000 a year on fundraising.

When the levy was first introduced in 2016, the year the regulator was launched, a number of charities declined to pay it.

Speaking at the Fundraising Regulator’s annual meeting in central London yesterday, chief executive Gerald Oppenheim said that in the year to 31 August, the most recent financial year for the levy, 95 per cent of eligible charities had paid up.

And, he said, in the first six weeks of the new levy payment period, which began on 3 October, 90 per cent of eligible charities had paid up, including 20 that had never agreed to pay before.

He said he did not believe there was one single answer as to why the levy seemed to be more widely accepted than in previous years.

"There’s an acceptance that we’re here, and people can see what we’ve done: revising the Code of Fundraising Practice, the cases we’ve carried out and our advice line," Oppenheim said.

"In some cases, it may be that there’s been a change of staff and trustees. The reasons might be intangible and we don’t know why, but I’m not complaining."

Lord Harris of Haringey, the chair of the regulator, said he believed the rate of levy payment was also to do with familiarity and the regulator had demonstrated that it was delivering value to the sector.

Oppenheim said there were still about 20 eligible charities that were refusing to pay and 100 that simply ignored all contact from the regulator, which he said were "coasting on the backs of all those charities that have paid".

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