Charity fundraising is getting a bad name. From 92 year old Olive who committed suicide in Bristol as a result of receiving 466 appeal mailings in a single year from 99 charities to the reports of donations being diverted to support Middle Eastern terrorism to the shenanigans last week at the Presidents Club dinner, there are all to frequents news reports that give our citizens doubts about giving.
These are apprehensions which are almost certainly redoubled when they go shopping and are confronted by that is before the chuggers who constantly bombard us on the High Street.
The fight against this reputational risk is being led by the Fundraising Regulator, established to set, promote and oversee standards for fundraising practice, a role it commenced in 2016. The standards which it has established are enshrined in The Code of Fundraising Practice and its associated Rulebooks for Street, Door and Private Site Fundraising .
Awareness of the Regulator and the Code are not as widespread as they should be, but action is in hand to address that.
All fundraisers should note that compliance with the Code is not optional and that the frequency of complaint submissions to the Regulator is rising, particularly complaints against small charities, it seems.
Whilst the fundraising efforts of our local charities are unlikely to drive anyone to suicide, be siphoned into terrorism or hit the headlines due to impropriety, the risks of infringing the Code are still lurking in running raffles, holding a Funday or suggesting someone includes your charity in their will.
It could be time to get familiar with the Regulator and its Code.