Fundraising Regulator to name charities it investigates

It will do this for all charities it investigates after receiving complaints, beginning from 1 March

Direct mail: cause of many complaints to the regulator
Direct mail: cause of many complaints to the regulator

The Fundraising Regulator has said it will begin naming all the charities it investigates after receiving complaints.

The regulator said today it would publish on a quarterly basis the names of all the organisations it investigates for complaints it receives from 1 March.

It said the names of all charities investigated would be published at the end of the investigation process, regardless of whether the complaint was rejected or was upheld, in a bid to make the complaints process more transparent.

The regulator does not currently name the charities it investigates, although it has in certain cases when the investigation has been in the public domain, such as the Presidents Club case.

"This change in policy was decided by the Fundraising Regulator’s board, who agreed that the naming process will help promote and support a culture of transparency and ethical fundraising," a statement from the regulator said today.

"It will also help ensure that donors and potential donors can make informed decisions about how they donate to charities."

The regulator said that when it uncovered a breach of the Code of Fundraising Practice it would continue to share the findings of the investigation before publication so the charity in question would have the opportunity to comment on the findings.

It said the identity of complainants would continue to be protected.

Sarah Fox, head of casework at the regulator, said in the summer that it had received more than 1,100 complaints, but the majority were outside the regulator’s remit and should have been directed to the Charity Commission, the police or the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The regulator had issued 55 decisions after investigations, she said at the time, finding a breach of the Code of Fundraising Practice in 81 per cent of the issues raised.

Gerald Oppenheim, chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator, said in a statement today: "It is crucial that fundraisers and organisations are rightly recognised for adhering to the Code of Fundraising Practice, which underpins the behaviours that we expect from the charity sector.

"A transparent approach means donors can fully consider who they wish to donate to. When we publish our decisions, we will clearly recognise the organisations that have cooperated fully with our investigations and used it as an opportunity to reflect on how they carry out their fundraising efforts.

"We are confident that the change in the way we approach investigations will encourage organisations to scrutinise their fundraising efforts more closely to ensure they meet the standards required of them."

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