Regulator launches first consultation on changes to Code of Fundraising Practice

Written by Matt Ritchie

The Fundraising Regulator has today announced its first consultation on the Code of Fundraising Practice.

The proposed changes focus on issues like people in vulnerable circumstances, fundraising communications, the delivery of charity collection bags and how charities oversee their third-party contracts.

The consultation is open to charities, fundraisers and the general public and runs until the end of April. The regulator said it marks the first major development of the code since the organisation took responsibility for it last summer.

The consultation will not include the Fundraising Preference Service, guidance for which will be announced closer to its launch.

It will also not cover data and consent. The regulator plans to consult on the issue separately once the Information Commissioner’s Office's guidance on General Data Protection Regulations is released.

The consultation is being led by Suzanne McCarthy, chair of the Fundraising Regulator's Standards Committee. McCarthy said the code is crucial to ensuring fundraising is carried out to the high standards expected by the public.

“Given its importance, it is essential that the code develops to meet new challenges and does so in a fair and consultative manner,” she said. “This process will enable us to understand and, where appropriate, address the sector’s concerns.”

The regulator will be holding events and webinars with key stakeholders throughout the consultation period.

The Institute of Fundraising used to manage the code, before it transferred to the new Fundraising Regulator following the Etherington Review.

IoF chief executive Peter Lewis welcomed the consultation, and said the code has been a constantly evolving set of standards since its inception.

“It is essential that the expertise of fundraisers and the insight of donors informs any changes to the code and we will be working with the regulator and our members to ensure this is the case,” Lewis said. “We want as many of our members to be involved as possible, so we’ll be responding formally to the consultation through our Standards Advisory Board and will publish a draft response with the opportunity for members to feedback, ahead of our final submission.”

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