Working group will design new voluntary sector-funded Fundraising Preference Service

The body will decide on the make-up of the new regulator recommended by Sir Stuart Etherington's review, although groups members have yet to be appointed

People will be able to opt out of all telephone and direct mail fundraising by charities
People will be able to opt out of all telephone and direct mail fundraising by charities

A working group will be set up to plan the implementation of the Fundraising Preference Service, it has been announced.

A joint statement issued yesterday after a meeting earlier this week of the key stakeholders in Sir Stuart Etherington’s review of the self-regulation of fundraising said there was a broad consensus on the major steps needed to implement the review’s recommendations.

The meeting, which included Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society, Etherington and representatives from the existing fundraising regulators and charities, agreed that the new fundraising regulator, proposed in Etherington’s review, would be funded by the voluntary sector itself.

"A working group will be set up to plan the implementation of the Fundraising Preference Service," the statement said. "It will be tasked with establishing the FPS as a tool to reset an individual’s receipt of charity fundraising communications."

The FPS will enable people to opt out of all telephone and direct mail fundraising by charities using one central system.

It is understood that the make up of the working group has not yet been decided.

The statement also confirmed that the Institute of Fundraising and the Public Fundraising Association would, subject to the agreement of members, merge into "one professional body focusing on compliance and transferring all regulatory aspects to the new self-regulator", as per Etherington’s recommendation.

The statement also said: "The aim is for the new self-regulator to take responsibility for the code of fundraising practice. In the meantime, the Fundraising Standards Board will continue to self-regulate charity fundraising until such time as the new self-regulator is established."

It said that a summit meeting would be held with the wider voluntary sector in the coming weeks to discuss the reforms, with more information due to be released shortly.

"Putting donors back in control of whether and how they are approached with fundraising requests will be at the heart of reforms coming from within the voluntary sector," it said. "This will demonstrate charities’ commitment to a sustainable, mutually beneficial relationship with their supporters on whom they rely in order to do their good work."

It said that all those involved agreed to work with charities in Scotland and Northern Ireland "to ensure that the system could operate on a UK-wide basis, should they choose to participate in the new self-regulatory system".

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