Fundraising Regulator names charities that have not paid levy

Written by Matt Ritchie

The Fundraising Regulator has named the charities who have not paid its year one levy, and those who have either paid or committed to.

The regulator has published a list covering the 1,570 organisations asked to contribute to the year one levy, naming 162 charities that have not paid. Of these, 13 have agreed to pay next year.

A further 95 organisations are in ongoing negotiations with the regulator and are not listed.

The regulator said in a statement that it is publishing the list “in the interests of transparency and fairness”.

“The charities listed as non-payers comprise those who either refused to contribute to the levy, or have not responded to our communications. The list will be updated to include charities with whom we are still in negotiation, as and when they decide whether or not to pay. As such it is a live document,” the regulator said.

Acevo chief executive Vicky Browning said it is up to each charity to decide whether to contribute to the regulator, but the association prefers voluntary self-regulation with a code agreed between the sector and government to statutory regulation.

“Charities not paying the levy on the principle that donors’ money was not intended for the Fundraising Regulator must measure the risk against the principle and consider whether the principle should itself be subsidised by the majority of the rest of the sector which is paying the levy.”

However, Browning said that with the list showing certain types of charities like religious, medical, and the arts less likely to contribute, the regulator must engage with these sub-sectors and hear their concerns.

“The sector is not homogeneous, the same argument isn't going to work with everyone - charities that have concerns about paying need to see and hear that their perspective is understood and being taken into account,” she said.

Senior Lecturer in Social Statistics at the University of Stirling Dr Alasdair Rutherford said about 84 per cent of the 1,665 eligible charities have paid the levy and signed-up to the new Fundraising Regulator.

The largest 20 per cent of charities for whom total income data is available were most likely to have paid, with 93 per cent having done so, while 82 per cent of the smallest fifth of charities had paid.

“Some smaller charities with fluctuating fundraising expenditure refusing to pay may feel that the way the threshold has been assessed is unfair,” Dr Rutherford said. “Charities who have paid are most likely to operate in the fields of Education & Research, Health or Social Services."

Dr Rutherford said a distinction should be made between large charities who have opted out, and the smaller charities who have been caught up in the levy due to an exceptional year in 2014.

“This affects only a small number of charities, but being named and shamed could have consequences for their reputations,” he said. “Most of the largest fundraising charities have joined the new regulator, but it is right that questions are asked of those large charities that have taken the decision not to participate in the regulation."

Access the list here.

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