Funds delay puts back self-regulation project

The launch of the self-regulation of fundraising scheme has been put back until next April because of months of delay in securing seed funding from the Home Office.

The Home Office initially blamed the delay on the General Election and now says the money will be given this month. But the proposed autumn launch of the scheme is now on the rocks.

The Institute of Fundraising, which will be housing the scheme, says self-regulation is now unlikely to start until the next financial year.

The institute has repeatedly pressed the Home Office for the promised funding for the scheme, an important part of the drive by the industry and the Government itself to improve the public image of fundraising.

Chief executive Lindsay Boswell said £2m was needed to set up the scheme and break even in five years. In the long term, it will be funded by membership fees for organisations, ranging from £30 to £1,500.

The institute is hoping for £1.71m from the Home Office and Scottish Executive. The plans pave the way for a single set of standards for all UK fundraisers.

Boswell said the self-regulatory unit would extract itself from the institute and become a separate legal entity "as soon as possible" within the first year. He added that, once the funding had been given, a "presence" would be established in Scotland as well.

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