Regulating the Fundraising Regulator

The Fundraising Regulator (FR)

  • The FR is to be funded to the tune of £ 1.75 million by contributions from the circa 1500 charities that have spent at least £100,000 per annum on fundraising activities. Is this a tax on your donations? It sure is a cost to the charities.
  • As custodians of the Code of Fundraising Practice FR are making changes to emphasise that any activity involving personal data falls under data protection laws.  From May 2018 there will be new sections in the code on Data Protection and Direct Marketing
  • The FR will also expand definitions of “processing”, “consent” “legitimate interest” and  relevant terms.
  • In December 2017 FR announced that it has scrapped its annual complaints report and will not publish complaints for two years.  Oh that is alright then, no problem, it is what you would think you  are paying for even if you were unaware.
  • The FR defines teleappending as ‘where a charity identifies a telephone number for a supporter on their database where that person has not provided their telephone details, but hasn’t objected to phone calls.’   mmm watch this space.

Other Regulators

  • In a recent announcement the Charity Commission has been awarded extra funding from the Government of £5 million per year to help it respond to significant increases in demand as a interim solution. The regulator will consult on the option of another levy probably on the largest charities. Bearing in mind the FR levy this sounds like deja vu.
  • Currently the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) receives an annual grant from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to  undertaking there statutory duties in respect of freedom of information. From May 2018 new charges will replace the system with three tiers based on  size, turnover and whether an organisation is a public authority or charity. Costs will vary with large organisations increasing payments from £40 to £2900. Remember two years ago when the ICO fined the RSPCA and British Heart Foundation £25,000 and £18,000 respectively for breaches under the Data Protection Act 1998 including wealth screening and donor profiling.
  • Auditors are required by all charities with an income over £1 million, or with an income over £250,000 and with gross assets over £3.26 million.


In the December 2017 report from the Charities commission in England and Wales they report there are 168,237 registered charities with a combined gross income in excess of £75 billion.


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