The Government is planning a review of the activities of the Fundraising Regulator – which replaced the Fundraising Standards Board in 2016 following the Etherington Review – to ensure it is still fulfilling its role.
The move was revealed in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport’s annual report which was published late last week.
Asked for further details about the review, a DCMS spokeswoman told Third Sector: “We want to undertake a light-touch review of the progress of the Fundraising Regulator to ensure that it is fulfilling the role as set out in the Etherington Review of 2015.”
The Etherington Review of fundraising regulation was commissioned by the Government in the wake of the sector’s “annus horribilis” of 2015, when the media went into overdrive over the sharp practices of fundraisers in the wake of the Olive Cooke scandal.
The Fundraising Regulator recently reported it had received more than 1,100 complaints in the year to March 31, a 20% increase on the year before, but the majority of them were outside its remit and were forwarded to the Charity Commission, the police and the Information Commissioner’s Office. The regulator issued 55 decisions after investigations, finding a breach of the Code of Fundraising Practice in 81% of issues raised.
The highest number of complaints were about door-to-door, street fundraising, unaddressed mail and charity bags.
A spokeswoman for the Fundraising Regulator said it welcomed the review. “The Government accepted the recommendations of the 2015 cross-party review of fundraising regulation, which itself recommended that a progress review took place after the set-up period.”
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