The Fundraising Regulator has published a "completely overhauled" version of the Code of Fundraising Practice and is calling on charities to share their views on the draft document.
The new version of the code, published today, has been designed to be more accessible and simpler to navigate, said Gerald Oppenheim, chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator.
The alterations are not intended to make "fundamental changes" to the standards in the code, the regulator said, but some rules have been deleted if they were duplicated or contradicted within the text, or if they were not relevant to fundraising.
The new document, available on the regulator’s website, includes a table of contents, a glossary and an introduction. Two sections follow, one detailing rules that apply to all fundraisers and another divided into different areas of fundraising.
The code was developed in 2005 by the Institute of Fundraising, which drew together different sets of guidance and rules to create the current document, made up of 20 chapters and 14 legal annexes.
"Over the past 13 years or so, the code has had rules added to it, things have changed, new bits of law have come in," Oppenheim told Third Sector. "The code has grown hugely and it’s become quite hard to use and repetitive."
The draft document was a "completely overhauled" version of the code, he said. "What we’ve done is a review of how it’s structured, how it’s written, how it’s organised," he said.
"The intention is to make it easier for professional fundraisers as well as members of the public who want to raise money for their own causes or local communities, and volunteer fundraisers – everything from the big campaign to the local."
The new version has been reviewed by the Plain English Campaign in a bid to ensure the language is as clear as possible. The new version of the code will be subject to a full legal review after any changes are made as a result of the consultation.
As well as being broken down by types of fundraising, the code will explain where the laws differ in the different nations of the United Kingdom and will include links to guidance from other regulators and organisations.
The consultation on the new version of the code will run until 16 November. The documents include a table of alterations to allow respondents to track changes.
The regulator has also planned more than 20 consultation events across the UK during the consultation period.
Oppenheim said the number of expected responses meant it was likely that the final version of the code would not be ready until spring or summer next year.
"We expect fundraisers who’ve been using the code for years to find the new version a very different experience," he said. "But we’d make a plea that people look at it in the spirit of looking to the future and making sure the code remains accessible, both for them as fundraisers and for future fundraisers coming through.
"We need to make sure that it’s accessible for all, not just a few specialists who know what they’re looking at and where to find what they need to find."