Institute of Fundraising hopes Suzanne McCarthy will move to Fundraising Regulator

The chair of the IoF standards committee is seen as a natural fit for the regulator's fundraising practice committee

Suzanne McCarthy
Suzanne McCarthy

The Institute of Fundraising hopes the chair of its standards committee, Suzanne McCarthy, will be appointed chair of the equivalent committee being established by the new Fundraising Regulator.

In a video published online about the future of fundraising regulation and the IoF Code of Fundraising Practice, Peter Lewis, chief executive of the IoF, said he hoped that McCarthy, who in September was appointed as the first independent chair of the code setting standards committee, would be appointed to lead the new fundraising practice committee which will be established to house the code.

Sir Stuart Etherington’s review of fundraising regulation, published in September, recommended the code be transferred to the Fundraising Regulator, which is being established by Lord Grade, its recently appointed chair.

"We hope very much that Suzanne McCarthy will move across to the new regulator and lead on the work to change as necessary the composition of the fundraising practice committee, bringing on new people to add more lay expertise," Lewis said.

It had been assumed by some that McCarthy, who is the former Immigration Services Commissioner, would find herself out of a role once the code had been transferred over.

In the video, Lewis also appears to indicate that the institute will only hand over the code once it is satisfied with the new arrangements.

"When the new regulator has its practice and complaints committee set up and we’re happy that there’s sufficient fundraising expertise both at a governance level – on the board, in the fundraising practice committee, on the adjudication committee and in the staff team – we will pass the code over to the new regulator," he said.

But a spokesman for the IoF told Third Sector that Lewis did not mean to suggest that the code would not be handed over and that he could not imagine a situation where this would happen. The spokesman said the body was awaiting the appointment of the new chief executive to discuss transition plans.

In the video, Lewis said the IoF was in "quite an awkward position" over the summer, being the owner of the code at a time when some of its members appeared to be in breach of its rules.

For that reason, he said, the IoF came to the conclusion that it would be a positive thing for the code to move to the new regulator but that this should only happen "on the basis that fundraising expertise is built into that independent regulator."

During the video, Lewis, who had previously refused to comment on whether the IoF intended to lobby against some of the proposals in Etherington’s review, made it clear that the institute was in favour of some of the proposals – such as abolishing the Fundraising Standards Board and merging the IoF with the Public Fundraising Association – but beieved others were more "controversial" and that it wanted to be "heavily involved" in shaping them.

These were the Fundraising Preference Service and the move towards an opt-in-only system for fundraising.

On the FPS, he said: "We have consulted specifically with our members in relation to FPS and many do have concerns that might interrupt their relationships with their supporters if it’s not designed correctly."

The IoF spokesman was unable to confirm whether McCarthy was being considered for a role at the new regulator.

Lord Grade, who was appointed as the regulator’s interim chair last month, has said the chief executive role should be filled by Christmas.

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