The PwC report on fundraising regulation was right to recommend that the Institute of Fundraising and the Fundraising Standards Board should remain as two separate bodies, the new chair of the IoF has said.
Richard Taylor, who became chair at the IoF national convention earlier this month, told Third Sector that one of the purposes of the IoF was to set the rules for the profession, while the FRSB was there to hold fundraisers to account.
"It’s appropriate and right that they are two separate bodies with two different remits," he said. "The PwC report recognises that, and I think some people wanted it all to be merged and amalgamated and simplified. Some of this stuff takes time and personally I don’t think it can be a transformational approach."
He said the self-regulatory environment for fundraising was "highly complex" and sensitive and there was willingness at the IoF, the FRSB and the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association to make the system work.
It was, he added, significant that a member of the FRSB would be given a place on the IoF standards committee – as recommended by the report – because this would complete the "feedback loop between the public, the donor and the fundraiser".
Asked how the IoF planned to address a lack of engagement among members with changes to the IoF Code of Fundraising Practice – highlighted in the report – Taylor said: "I personally don’t have any agenda or plans around this. Consultation with membership is ongoing – the IoF takes it seriously. I don’t know that enough charities are engaged when asked. The more we do that online and digitally, the more likely we are to get feedback."
Lord Hodgson, whose review of the Charities Act 2006 prompted the PwC report, told Third Sector that he had not seen a full copy. Of the summary report, released last week, he said: "This looks like a series of decent steps, but there’s further to go." He said it was sensible for the three bodies to move towards sharing offices and facilities.
Hodgson said that it would be "another brick in building the wall of public confidence" if the FRSB were to do more proactive compliance checks such as mystery shopping of street fundraisers, currently conducted by the PFRA.
On the report’s point that more funding was needed if the FRSB was to be more proactive, Hodgson said: "It is no good for one part of the charity fundraising world that raises money not to be prepared to help the disciplinary process that facilitates them doing that fundraising. There’s got to be some sharing of both operational sovereignty and financial sovereignty."
Hodgson said that every charity should use the FRSB's 'give with confidence' tick. "It’s no good being too grand to use it," he said. "It’s part of developing a proper practice."
- A full interview with Richard Taylor will be published in the September issue of Third Sector magazine