Scourse to leave Fundraising Standards Board

The Fundraising Standards Board announced that its chief executive, Jon Scourse, will leave the organisation at the end of the year.

Scourse: leaving
Scourse: leaving

Scourse told Third Sector Online he felt the first phase of the FRSB had been successfully completed and he now wanted a better work-life balance.

"Some people will want to speculate about other agendas," he said. "But I've not come under any pressure from my own board or my chairman. This was entirely a personal decision and I will continue to work in the sector."

Colin Lloyd, chair of the FRSB, paid tribute to Scourse's commitment and professionalism in the "pioneering task" of setting up the body, which was formed in February 2006 and launched to the public last year.

"Jon has done a fantastic job getting us to where we are and I am very grateful to him," said Lloyd. "We've had a lot of success, but I think Jon is looking for a better work-life balance now. He wants to spend more time with his family.

"I don't think this has anything to do with anything that has happened in the past few months. When you have set up an organisation like ours in the centre of a huge industry, its never going to be easy - that's why I took on the job as well, I like a challenge."

The FRSB, which has 900 members, which account for 35 per cent of UK voluntary giving, announced last month that it was moving into a new phase by putting up membership fees for larger charities, pursuing a lower recruitment target and setting up a new advisory forum to boost membership engagement.

The move to involve members more came after criticism from some charities that the FRSB was concentrating too much on complaints. The organisation has also had teething problems and had to change its initials and logo from FSB to FRSB after objections from the Federation of Small Businesses.

Scourse acknowledged that there had been " a mixed response" to the fledging FRSB. "That hasn't made a huge difference because that was part of the job," he said. "We have been dealing in some cases with an unresponsive audience. But I always knew it was going to be challenging.

"That aspect hasn't affected me hugely. The role has been quite high exposure, but I think the criticism has been to do with the role rather than being personal.

"Colin and I have created this organisation from scratch. It's been immensely satisfying and I have no regrets. I've found it very exciting and stimulating - I enjoy working on new projects from the start.

"I have always said that this is a long-term project that will take time to build and that the next phase in the development of the FRSB will continue the challenge to establish world class self-regulation for the sector."

Lloyd said: "Jon will feel like he is going out on a high point because we have completed the first phase, which has been very successful. To get close to 1,000 members, including some of the big charities, and establish the framework and everything else is a project not to be taken lightly. He has done a great job, obviously supported by his team. There are always lines in the sand and he has reached that point."

Scourse, who lives in rural Oxfordshire, said he wanted to rejoin the Reading Bach Choir, where he gave up his role as a bass because of the demands of his job. He also wanted to spend more time with his four grandchildren and indulge his passion for landscape photography.

He did not specify what kind of job he might take in the sector in future. The FRSB has set up a sub-committee to recruit his successor.

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