Fundraising Regulator to review fundraising code and levy as part of five-year strategy

The Fundraising Regulator has published its first five-year strategy, which includes reviews into the public’s experiences with fundraising, the Fundraising Levy and the Code of Fundraising Practice.

This will mark the first strategic plan set out by the regulator since becoming an established regulatory body and will cover the period 2022-2027.

The strategy sets the organisation’s regulatory objectives for the five-year period and addresses new trends in fundraising, which have emerged since the regulator’s inception in 2016.

“We have seen considerable changes in the fundraising landscape since we were established and anticipate that methods will continue to shift and develop over the next five years too – shaped by wider social, economic and technological changes,” the regulator’s chair, Lord Toby Harris said.

“This strategic plan reflects our ongoing commitment to evolve as an agile regulator alongside the sector – ensuring our regulation protects donors and the public, while also supporting a vibrant and creative fundraising sector. At the core of our plan are the principles of innovation, proactivity, intelligence, and collaboration.”

The first phase of the plan will include a full review of the Code of Fundraising Practice to ensure the code remains relevant, effective, and responsive to new issues in fundraising. It will be the first significant overhaul of the code since the last consultation in 2018.

Detailed research will also be conducted into the public’s perception of and experiences with fundraising. This will help to collect data about fundraising from internal and external sources to help develop the code and inform regulatory priorities.

The regulator also intends to carry out a review into the Fundraising Levy and the way the levy is calculated.

Last year, the regulator saw a 98% payment rate of the voluntary levy – the highest rate to date. Over the reporting period from 1 September 2020 to 31 August 2021, 1,974 eligible fundraising organisations contributed a total of £2.17m to the levy, which funds the regulator.

The new strategic plan forms part of the regulator’s commitment to providing charities with a transparent view of how the organisation will use this money to deliver effective regulation of charity fundraising.

It will be followed up by the next annual business plan, which will include specific actions for how the overarching strategic objectives will be achieved in the next 12 months. This will be published at the end of September.

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