Fundraising Regulator will name charities that have not paid its levy

Of the 1,768 charities that have been asked to pay the voluntary levy to fund the regulator's costs, 200 have either refused or ignored requests for payment

Fundraising Regulator's website
Fundraising Regulator's website

The Fundraising Regulator will, at the end of August, name the charities that have so far failed to pay the fundraising levy, it announced today.  

The regulator said it would publish a list at the end of next month, the close of the first levy year, disclosing the names of the eligible charities that have and have not paid the levy. All charities that spend more than £100,000 a year on fundraising have been asked to pay the voluntary levy, which covers the regulator’s running costs.

The regulator said today that of the 1,768 charities eligible to pay, 1,344 had paid or committed to paying, 224 were in negotiation with the regulator about payment, 35 had declined to pay and 165 had not replied. 

The decision to name the organisations that have not paid comes after Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Sector Organisations, called on the regulator to "name and shame" the non-payers. Etherington conducted a review of fundraising self-regulation in 2015, which called for the creation of a new Fundraising Regulator after the national press criticised fundraising practices.

On 10 July, the regulator published a list of all those organisations that had registered with the Fundraising Regulator, but it did not include the names of the eligible charities that had not. The existing register includes charities that have paid the levy and those which, because they spend less than £100,000 a year on fundraising, fall outside the levy but have registered their support.

The Fundraising Regulator said in statement today that its board had concluded it would be in the interests of transparency and fairness to disclose the complete list of those charities that had and had not paid.

It said that before doing so it would contact all non-respondents again and had asked the NCVO and the Institute of Fundraising to contact the small number of those that are their members to encourage them to pay the levy. The list will also be shared with the Charity Commission.

Lord Grade of Yarmouth, chair of the regulator’s board, said: "The public generously supports charities, so their commitment to good fundraising practice is of vital importance. For charities spending more than £100,000 a year on fundraising, paying the levy is a very clear sign of their commitment to ensuring the maintenance of excellent fundraising standards and professionalism."

Etherington said that paying the levy demonstrated a commitment to good practice and showing the charities that had paid and the small proportion that had not was fair to all concerned. 

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, said: "Fundraisers absolutely want the Fundraising Regulator to succeed. I would encourage all fundraising charities to sign up to support the regulator and pay the levy as appropriate."

The proposal to name and shame organisations has faced opposition within the sector.

Earlier this month, Jay Kennedy, director of policy and research at the Directory of Social Change, told Third Sector: "Naming and shaming is at best premature and at worst will just damage the sector's reputation further with more crappy headlines. It could also damage the reputations of any charities that are unfairly castigated in print."

Kennedy said some charities might not have paid because choosing to do so was a strategic decision for the board that they might not have been able to make yet. 

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