Revealing costs of running campaigns 'could deter some donors from giving'

Fundraising agencies should not have to disclose the overall fee charged for running a charitable appeal because it could discourage donors, fundraising organisations have warned the Government.

Section 67 of the Charities Act 2006 says that when professional fundraisers solicit donations, they must make a statement disclosing "the method by which the fundraiser's remuneration in connection with the appeal is to be determined and the notifiable amount of that remuneration".

The Office of the Third Sector is producing guidance on the clause to help charities comply with it. Members of a working party set up to comment on a draft of the guidance have said that if section 67 is interpreted in a way that means fundraisers have to reveal the overall amount paid to an agency for a campaign, donors might feel their donation would be swallowed up by administration fees.

"There was controversy about the wording of the disclosures," said Mick Aldridge, chief executive of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, who is part of the working party.

"The last I heard from the OTS was on 5 November, when they said they were going to work with the working party to reword it, saying 'we have to get this right'."

A spokesman for the OTS said the content of the draft guidance had changed since the working party saw it in October. He would not confirm the wording of the draft seen by the working party or give details of changes made. "The legal requirements for the Charities Act have already been published, so we are talking about the guidance that will help charities comply with that," he said.

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