Fundraising: Standards board to offer self-regulation discount

Small and medium-sized charities are being offered a discount of up to a third of the cost of signing up to the new self-regulatory scheme, which will be run by the Fundraising Standards Board (FSB) from October.

The incentive was ann-ounced as the FSB set out its fees (see table) for charities to join the scheme at an Institute of Fundraising briefing for fundraisers in London last week.

Full details of the discount, which will be available only for the first year, will be announced shortly.

Lindsay Boswell, director of the institute, said: "It is important that we capture the whole of the fundraising community and that we build momentum for the scheme from the beginning."

The FSB explained how it plans to penalise charities that break the Institute of Fundraising's codes of practice, and how it will handle complaints from the public about charity fundraising under its forthcoming self-regulatory scheme.

It plans to take up complaints with the charity concerned and, if this fails to resolve the problem, it will remove the charity from the scheme as a last resort.

The FSB also described its procedure to arbitrate on complaints against the fundraising activities of organisations that sign up to the scheme.

The board will adjudicate on complaints by considering whether the charity has complied with the institute's codes of practice and the Donors' Charter.

Donors will complain directly to the charity in the first instance.

If the charity cannot resolve the complaint to a donor's satisfaction, the donor will be able to refer the complaint to the FSB. If donor or charity is unsatisfied by the board's decision, the complaint will be passed to an independent complaints reviewer for final arbitration.

The board is chaired by Colin Lloyd, former president of the Institute of Sales Promotion, and will include representatives from the Institute of Fundraising, the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association and the Charity Law Association. Four lay members have also been appointed.

Lloyd said: "We had a robust selection process in place to make sure we have the right balance of skills."

The board begins recruiting fundraising organisations to the scheme in June.

- See News Analysis, page 10, and Editorial, page 22.

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