Lord Hodgson says the three fundraising bodies should merge into one

The Conservative peer tells a parliamentary meeting that the public doesn't understand the need for three separate organisations

Lord Hodgson
Lord Hodgson

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts has called for a single body to replace the three organisations that oversee charity fundraising.

The Institute of Fundraising, the Fundraising Standards Board and the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association should merge to form a single body, the Conservative peer said.

He was speaking yesterday at a meeting in Westminster of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Civil Society and Volunteering, of which he is vice-chair.

He challenged the three bodies to come up with a solution that was less confusing to the public – who, he said, were disappointed with buck-passing.

"There is a public disconnect with fundraising and it is a really serious matter," Hodgson said. "The public doesn’t understand why we need the IoF, the FRSB and the PFRA. We need one body, with one telephone number and one email. You guys can make that happen."

In his review of the Charities Act 2006, published in 2012, Hodgson recommended that the sector address the "confused self-regulatory landscape".

Last year, in response, the three organisations commissioned the consultancy firm PwC to carry out an independent review on creating a sustainable and efficient self-regulatory system for fundraising.

PwC has already produced its initial findings and these are being discussed by the chairs and chief executives of the three fundraising bodies.

The three organisations issued a joint statement today that said they had already made progress on Hodgson’s 2012 recommendations by making it clear what each one did and reducing the areas where their roles overlap

"All three bodies recognise the importance of delivering a robust and coordinated system of fundraising regulation, for the benefit of both charities and the public," the statement said.

"The PwC report will be published shortly with recommendations for reaching our shared goal, namely an effective and efficient system of regulation that further strengthens public confidence."

The consultancy nfpSynergy recently published a report that said more than half of the people surveyed found doorstep and telephone fundraising "very annoying".

Earlier this week, Hodgson told BBC Radio 5 Live charities that persistently employed aggressive fundraising tactics should face losing their charitable status.

Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, was among other speakers at the meeting who were asked to envisage how the sector would look in the future.

Gillespie spoke about the #nomakeupselfie trend on Twitter, which has so far garnered more than £8m for cancer charities.

"Social media will grow and develop in ways we can’t predict," he said.

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