Membership of fundraising regulator grew by nearly 10 per cent last year

A net 148 organisations joined the Fundraising Standards Board in 2014, taking the total to 1,695, says the regulator's annual report

FRSB annual report
FRSB annual report

Membership of the Fundraising Standards Board grew by almost 10 per cent in 2014, figures from the regulator’s annual report show.

The number of fundraising charities that signed up voluntarily for regulation by the FRSB rose from 1,547 in 2013 to 1,695 last year. Of these, 453 had a voluntary income of £1m or more.

While 240 charities joined the membership body, 92 of last year’s members did not renew their membership, creating a net growth of 148 organisations.

Alistair McLean, chief executive of the FRSB, said the vast majority of those that did not renew were charities that had closed down.

A small proportion left because they no longer had any fundraising activity – McLean said these were mostly charities with voluntary incomes of less than £30,000. The merger of some charities also reduced membership totals, he said.

The annual report shows that 82 per cent of charities with voluntary incomes of £10m or more are now FRSB members. McLean said that most of those that were not members were arts charities and not organisations that most people would think of as charities.

The percentage of members filing complaint returns with the FRSB – which include details of fundraising activity and complaints received – rose slightly last year to 92 per cent, compared with 87 per cent the year before, the report shows.

In a survey of 1,135 people conducted on behalf of the FRSB by TNS OnLineBus, 25 per cent were aware that fundraising was regulated and 13 per cent were aware of the FRSB, similar figures to those recorded the previous year.

Financial information in the report, which is based on the year to the end of June 2014 rather than the calendar year used for the membership figures, shows that FRSB income rose from £489,240 in 2012/13 to £506,125 in 2013/14.

It made a surplus of £9,623 in the last financial year, compared with a small loss in 2012/13.

Colin Lloyd, chair of the FRSB, said in a statement: "I am delighted that so many charities have embraced self-regulation and best practice over the past year, delivering the highest standards of fundraising.

"FRSB charities and suppliers now deliver the majority of the UK’s fundraising and membership continues to grow, with a charity signing up every working day.

"Looking ahead, we have more to do in growing membership further and building public awareness with greater use of the tick logo. We will also be working more closely with other regulators and sector bodies."

The FRSB Complaints Report 2014, published last June, revealed that the number of complaints to charities about their fundraising activities increased by 44 per cent last year to 48,432.

Susannah Birkwood

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