Grade admits new regulator lacks charity expertise

Lord gradeDM Commission chairman George Kidd has become the only direct marketing expert to be appointed to the board of the new Fundraising Regulator with even chairman Lord Michael Grade admitting the line-up is short of fundraising expertise.
Grade announced seven appointments to the board, which as well as Kidd also includes John Stoker, chief charity commissioner; Suzanne McCarthy, chair of the Institute of Fundraising’s standards committee; Jenny Williams, former CEO of the Gambling Commission, Sacha Deshmukh, CEO of Smart Energy GB and chair of War Child, Margaret Moore, ex-head of competition and regulatory practice at Travers Smith LLP, and Michael Smyth, chair of Community Links and visiting professor at Queen Mary University of London.
However, he conceded that the regulator had “not yet struck the right balance between regulatory experience, fundraising expertise and wider knowledge of the charitable sector” and insisted he was in the process of recruiting two additional members with fundraising expertise.
Board members will be paid £300 a day for a least one day a month. The regulator said the appointments had been made for two years with the possibility of a further term, subject to open competition.
Grade said: “We look forward to a lively engagement with the sector in the set-up period over the next few months, as we develop the Fundraising Regulator and determine our policies and priorities.
“Our intention is to take over regulatory responsibilities from the Fundraising Standards Board in the early summer.
“It is imperative that together we get this right – for the future health of the charitable sector and the wellbeing and confidence of those who wish to donate to charities and support the great work they do.”
However, one industry source said: “With the best will in the world what the hell do that lot know about the day to day challenges facing charity marketers? George Kidd knows his stuff about regulation but, while that is important, we need expertise from within the charity sector.
“After last year’s troubles, the sector needs to ensure it strikes a right balance. At the moment, the Fundraising Regulator’s board doesn’t offer much hope of that.”

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