Fundraising Regulator publishes list showing levy non-payers

It includes 162 charities that have not yet paid up to £15,000 a year to cover the regulator's costs

Fundraising Regulator's website
Fundraising Regulator's website

The Fundraising Regulator has published a list showing 162 charities that it says have not paid the fundraising levy.

Those listed as having not paid the levy include the English National Opera, the anti-poverty charity War on Want, the conservation charity Plantlife, the mental health charity YoungMinds and Devon Air Ambulance.

Others listed as having not paid the levy, which is voluntary, include BirdLife International and the think tanks Policy Exchange and the Institute of Economic Affairs.

The list includes 1,570 organisations in England and Wales that have been asked to pay up to £15,000 a year to cover the regulator’s costs, with the majority listed as having paid their share of the levy. 

But it does not include the names of 95 organisations that the regulator said it was in negotiations with over paying the levy.

Thirteen of the 162 charities that the regulator has identified as not paying the levy are marked as having agreed to pay the levy for year two but have not paid the year-one fee.

Charges levied on charities range from £150 a year for those spending between £100,000 and £149,999 per annum on fundraising to £15,000 for those that spend more than £50m a year.

Heléna Holt, chief executive of Devon Air Ambulance, said the charity did not intend to pay the levy because it did not provide the charity’s donors or beneficiaries with value for money.

She wrote a blog on the charity’s website in June in which she detailed the reasons why the charity had decided not to pay the levy and invited supporters to comment.

Holt told Third Sector that all the feedback the charity had received had been supportive of its decision to refuse to pay the levy, but this was constantly under review and the charity would pay if its supporters wanted it to.

A spokeswoman for the IEA said the charity did not intend to pay the levy. "This regulator was established after sharp and aggressive practices by some charities in fundraising," she said. "The IEA doesn't engage in such practices and has no intention of doing so. We have never received any complaint pertaining to fundraising that could be in any way helped or addressed by this regulator.

"If other charities have behaved so poorly they need to receive and pay for this sort of regulation, we wish them well. The IEA doesn't fit this category, so we are not minded to pay for a service we don't feel we need."

A spokeswoman for the English National Opera said it intended to pay the levy and the Fundraising Regulator was aware of it. She said the charity had requested an invoice from the regulator in July.

The support charity Turn2Us is listed under its former name of Elizabeth Finn Care as having not paid year one of the levy but having agreed to pay year two.

A spokeswoman for the charity said it intended to pay the levy from year one but was in discussions with the Fundraising Regulator over what payment band it should fall into.

The children’s charity EveryChild is listed as having not paid, but Amanda Griffiths, chief executive of Family for Every Child, told Third Sector the request for payment had slipped through the gaps as a result of EveryChild becoming a dormant subsidiary of Family for Every Child last year. She said payment had now been made.

A spokeswoman for the Fundraising Regulator said: "Today, in the interests of transparency and fairness, the Fundraising Regulator has published a list that shows the charities that have paid or committed to pay and those that have not paid our year-one levy.

"The charities listed as non-payers include those that either refused to contribute to the levy or have not responded to our communications. The list will be updated to include charities with which we are still in negotiation, as and when they decide whether or not to pay. As such it is a live document. As always, we are grateful to those charities that have paid the levy and look forward to continued collaboration in the future."

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, said: "While it is for the board of each charity to decide their own position, we strongly encourage every fundraising organisation to show their commitment to high standards by paying the levy."

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and whose review led to the creation of the Fundraising Regulator, said charities that paid the levy were demonstrating their commitment to fundraising good practice and therefore safeguarding their integrity and reputation.

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