Self-regulation should be simplified, says Institute of Fundraising chief executive

Peter Lewis says it makes sense for there to be one, public-facing complaints body for fundraising

Peter Lewis
Peter Lewis

The Institute of Fundraising is pressing for changes that would simplify self-regulation and create a single, public-facing complaints body.

Peter Lewis, its chief executive, told Third Sector  that discussions were continuing with the Fundraising Standards Board and the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association to agree the different functions of the three sector bodies.

He said he welcomed comments from Sally de la Bedoyere, the new chief executive of the PFRA, who said she was considering passing its public complaints function to the FRSB, which handles complaints about other types of fundraising.

"I think there should be one, public-facing complaints body," said Lewis. "I think that absolutely makes sense."

Lewis was part of a fundraising sub-committee that advised theCharity Law Advisory Group of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, which responded to Lord Hodgson’s review of the Charities Act 2006.

"The top line from our response was that there needs to be greater clarity about the roles of ourselves, the PFRA and the FRSB, and I absolutely agree," he said.

Hodgson’s final recommendations called for the FRSB and sector umbrella bodies to work together to agree a division of responsibilities that provides clarity and removes duplication. Lewis said he thought this was achievable.

"We agree there needs to be clarity over which organisation writes the rules, which we think are our fundraising code," he said. "So we think that the PFRA’s rule book and the FRSB promise should be part of our code so it all sits together in a neat and tidy way.

"I don’t see why that cannot happen. We’ve made significant progress already since Sally joined the PFRA, and we are very hopeful that the discussions with the FRSB will lead to an outcome that brings the sector together."

Lewis said the next step would be more meetings with other sector umbrella bodies before the institute gives evidence on the issue to the Public Administration Select Committee in October.

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