The Fundraising Regulator may loom large over the charity sector but for most consumers it is virtually invisible, according a study carried out by the organisation, with just 7% of people saying they were aware of its existence.
“The Role of the Fundraising Regulator: Public Awareness, Trust and Expectations” report, carried out among a representative survey of over 2,000 people, shows the regulator has plenty of work to do to raise its profile.
Out of eight regulators, Ofsted came top (on 82% awareness), followed by Trading Standards (81%), Ofcom (78%), the Financial Conduct Authority (64%), the Advertising Standards Authority (63%), and the Charity Commission (40%).
The Fundraising Regulator scraped in last on 7% but the Information Commissioner’s Office was not much better; it was second to last on 12%. Meanwhile, the controversial Fundraising Preference Service faired even worse; just 6% of people have heard of that scheme.
However, this is hardly a big surprise given that the only promotion it has received was a 12-week campaign that saw 76,000 leaflets distributed in doctors’ surgeries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
At the last count, just 3,847 people had used the service, with 11,890 requests to stop communications from 988 charities; almost a quarter (23%) were made on behalf of someone else.
One crumb of comfort for the regulator came from the fact that, once prompted, six in 10 people reported higher trust in fundraisers after they had been made aware of the regulator and the code, while 84% of people stated that the FPS was important.
Fundraising Regulator head of policy Priya Warner said: “We are pleased that the general public believes in the importance of regulation and that charities should follow our Code of Fundraising Practice.
“It is also encouraging to see how generous the public are with their donations and how much they value the work of fundraisers.
“We regularly seek the opinions of the charity sector to help inform and improve how we operate, and it has been an extremely useful exercise for us to do this with the general public.”
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