No new complaints report until 2020, says Fundraising Regulator

The watchdog is reviewing the content and purpose of the previously annual report so it can collect more useful data from major charities

The Fundraising Regulator has said it will not produce another full report on complaints received by major fundraising charities until 2020.

The regulator and its predecessor, the Fundraising Standards Board, previously produced a complaints report each year.

But the regulator said in a statement today that it would be reviewing the content and purpose of the report in order to try to collect more useful data from participating charities.

It said this would result in a new version of the complaints report, which would be published in the summer of 2020 and cover the 2019/20 financial year.

The regulator said it would produce shorter interim reports in the meantime, using data from about 60 charities that spend the most on fundraising.

"This two-year pause will allow the regulator to undertake a thorough review of the purpose and content of the report, in consultation with the sector, allowing the foundations to be built for a far more meaningful and qualitatively impactful report covering 2019/20," the regulator said.

It said the hiatus would allow charities to introduce changes to the data they collected about complaints received in time for the 2019/20 report.

The most recent complaints report, published in October, showed that almost 900 of the largest fundraising charities received more than 42,000 complaints in 2016.

The regulator said at the time that the report, which was the first about complaints it had produced since it was launched last year, was not comparable with previous versions produced by the FRSB because the charities involved in submitting data were not necessarily the same.

Stephen Dunmore, chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator, said the new report would be of "real value to the regulator and the sector". He said: "The Fundraising Regulator is committed to developing a thorough, useful and thought-through complaints report that provides real insight into the nature of fundraising complaints and how they can be resolved.

"An interim structure, reflecting this more qualitative approach, will be used for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 reports. After the process of review and adaptation, the 2019/20 report will mark the start of a new complaints analysis process for the longer term."

Daniel Fluskey, head of policy and external affairs at the Institute of Fundraising, said he was pleased to see the regulator taking a new approach to its complaints report.

"Getting a better understanding of the nature of complaints is really important if we are to continually improve fundraising practice, and it’s positive to see the Fundraising Regulator set out a detailed process for revising the report for the future," he said.

"We look forward to engaging with the Fundraising Regulator on this to represent the views of our members so that the new complaints report can be as useful as possible for identifying trends and gaining a better insight into the experience of supporters."

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