The Fundraising Regulator is risking accusations that it is waging a turf war with marketing trade bodies after calling on agencies to demonstrate their commitment to high standards by paying a fee to register with the organisation.
In a statement, the Fundraising Regulator confirmed it had opened registration to commercial fundraising businesses, including telemarketing, direct marketing and digital agencies, as well as digital giving platforms and commercial clothing collectors.
Organisations that apply for registration will be charged according to their annual turnover, with larger organisations which have revenues of over £20m paying £12,000 per year. Smaller agencies and companies with an annual turnover of up to £100,000 a year would pay the regulator £150 a year.
However, trade bodies such as the DMA, IPA, MMA and IAB UK would no doubt argue that their members already demonstrate high standards. Agencies pay thousands of pounds a year to join these organisations, and get a range of benefits, including accreditation, legal advice, best practice guidance, political lobbying, and conferences and events.
The Fundraising Regulator says businesses which register will be able to use the ‘Registered With’ logo on all fundraising materials and will be displayed on its register.
Fundraising Regulator chief executive Stephen Dunmore said: “The public sees little difference between fundraising that is undertaken directly by charities and that undertaken by third party organisations. It is therefore vital that we provide a way for commercial fundraising organisations to show their commitment to high standards and to contribute to the voluntary regulation of the sector.
“We would strongly encourage all commercial fundraising organisations to register with us. It is a demonstration of their commitment to both the charities they represent and the public they engage with.”
The regulator also said that, by registering, third party agencies and companies will have “a say in the standards they work to, in particular the development of the Code of Fundraising Practice”. The regulator also said that registering will “help maintain and build public trust and confidence in fundraising”.
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