The Year Ahead: 2016 What To Expect - Fundraising

More rules, more clarity

The year ahead will bring increased regulation, continued media scrutiny and a reduced capacity to communicate with donors.

But at least it will also bring clarity about how the new regulatory system will operate.

Once the chief executive of the new Fundraising Regulator has been appointed by Lord Grade, the sector should get a sense of whether it will be more closely aligned with the expectations of government or those of charities.

The new regulator is not expected to open for business until the end of the year, and the proposed Fundraising Preference Service is unlikely to kick in sooner, although the working party set up to consider it is due to report by the summer.

New EU data-protection rules are unlikely to come into force until 2018, but many charities will start preparing for these this year, and several could pre-empt them by introducing opt-in-only policies for their fundraising communications.

Many charities expect to raise less money this year than they originally forecasted, because of reduced trust from the public and the impact of rules introduced by the Institute of Fundraising in 2015. These include the requirement for fundraisers to gain express consent from donors who are also registered with the Telephone Preference Service.

Fundraisers are likely to respond by diversifying income: mass participation events should be popular, major donors will receive more attention and more charities will try to put donors in direct contact with beneficiaries through digital storytelling techniques such as live videos and virtual reality technology.

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