Fundraising Regulator looking to hike fees by up to 50%

The Fundraising Regulator is proposing increases on its levy fees of up to 50%, the first hike since the voluntary regulator was set up seven years ago.

It says fee increases are needed amid a growth in its caseload and heightened public awareness of its work.

“In addition, as fundraising methods change and more fundraising happens online, our small team is dealing with an increasing number of complex cases and sensitive issues of public concern,” it said.

“We want to make sure we have enough resources to support this work.”

The proposed increase is on a sliding scale with the largest charities facing a bigger hike in fees, compared to small charities.

Under the proposals those with fundraising expenditure of between £100,000 and £849,999 face a 20% hike in their levy fee.

For example, this would increase fees for a charity with a fundraising spend of between £750,000 and £849,999 from £1,500 to £1,800.

There is a 30% increase proposed for charities spending between £1m and £7.5m on fundraising.

Meanwhile, charities spending between £10m and £50m on fundraising face an increase in their levy of 50%.

In addition, two new bands are being proposed. Those spending between £850,000 and £999,999 would be asked to pay £2,500, while for those in the proposed new £7.5 and £9,999,999 band the fee is £10,000.

The regulator said that if it had raised rates in line with inflation since 2016 fees would currently be 25% for everyone.

“Under this system, the top 327 registered charities will pay a greater proportion of the entire levy. We believe this is the fairest way to spread the cost,” said the regulator.

“We have also introduced two extra bands so that the rise in levy payments is more gradual as charities move up the payment scale.

“Overall, the levy will still represent a fraction of a percentage of a charity’s total fundraising expenditure.”

From September next year the regulator is to increase fees by inflation each year “so that future rises are more gradual, and we will let levy payers know what these will be in advance”.

The smallest charities with a fundraising spend of under £100,000 will face a 20% hike in their registration fee from £50 to £60. This is to “reflect the rise in our processing costs since 2016”, said the regulator. This registration fee will be reviewed “from time to time in the future” but will not be subject to annual consumer price index increases.

The regulator is consulting on the proposed changes. The deadline for responses is 9 February 2024. If approved the new rates will come into effect in September 2024.

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