Etherington calls urgent summit of top UK charities

etherington 3Sir Stuart Etherington, the man behind the controversial government-backed Regulating Fundraising for the Future report, has rifled off an email to the bosses of the top 50 UK fundraising charities urging them to attend an urgent summit next month.
The move follows growing concerns that many of the recommendations will hit the sector hard and that one of its key tenets – the proposed Fundraising Preference Service – is too confusing and would be unworkable.
Even the Information Commissioner Christopher Graham has admitted he would have no power to enforce the opt-out scheme as it is not enshrined in legislation, either in the UK or the EU.
There are also fears that a move to an opt-in only data regime and a ban on data sharing between charities could wreak havoc among smaller organisations which are heavily reliant on third-party donor data.
The Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson is also planning to give the fundraising regulator statutory powers to prosecute miscreants in British courts if they do not stick to the new marketing rules.
Representatives from all the main charity bodies – the Institute of Fundraising, the Fundraising Standards Board, the Public Fundraising Association and the Small Charities Coalition, as well as the CEOs’ group Acevo have also urged to attend.
In the email, sent out late last week, NCVO chief Etherington conceded that the summit has been convened at short notice but said it will provide an overview of the latest developments concerning the regulation of fundraising, and outline the steps which will be taken to implement the recommendations made in the report.
The event will be live-streamed and a recording will be made available for those who are unable to attend.

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