Standards board to shift focus to public trust and confidence

The Fundraising Standards Board is working with some of the biggest UK charities on a plan to take the organisation into a new phase.

The plan is expected to involve greater partnership with fundraisers, more emphasis on public trust and confidence in charities and less focus on complaints. The move follows growing dissatisfaction with the FRSB's approach since it was launched to the public last year.

The FRSB's bigger charity members have been asked to step up their involvement in the promotion of the FRSB brand, both within the sector and with the public, and the 10 largest have been asked if they are prepared to pay a higher membership fee.

Mick Aldridge, a board member of the FRSB and chief executive of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, welcomed the plans. "Not enough people understand what we are about," he said. "What the FRSB really needs is for its members to get behind it and put some passion and commitment into publicising it to supporters and donors."

An FRSB spokeswoman said it was reviewing its fees and hoped to increase its membership, now close to 900, by easing the joining process and possibly offering incentives. It may also start to consider more complaints made about non-members, she said.

Increasing concern from members was brought to a head last week during the closing plenary of the Institute of Fundraising National Convention, delivered by Alan Clayton, chief executive of marketing agency Cascaid.

Clayton told the audience he had encountered general concern from delegates about the FRSB and whether it was effective or not. One source, whose charity is not an FRSB member, later told Third Sector that having statutory regulation would be no worse than the FRSB.

News of revisions to the fee structure led to rumours that the FRSB was in financial difficulty, but this was categorically denied in a statement released last week by Clive Lloyd, chair of the FRSB, and Paul Amadi, chair of the institute.

An official announcement from the FRSB is expected in the coming weeks.


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