We’re an independent, non-statutory body that regulates fundraising across the charitable sector in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
We stand up for best practice in fundraising, in order to protect donors and support the vital work of fundraisers.
We work in partnership with other regulators and the representative bodies in the charitable and fundraising sectors to build public confidence and ensure consistent fundraising standards across the UK.
We do this by:
- setting and promoting the standards for fundraising (in the Code of Fundraising Practice and associated rulebooks) in consultation with the public, fundraising stakeholders and legislators
- investigating complaints from the public about fundraising, where these cannot be resolved by the charities themselves
- investigating fundraising that has caused significant public concern
- enabling people to manage their contact with charities using our Fundraising Preference Service, and
- publishing a Fundraising Directory of all organisations who have registered with us to demonstrate their commitment to best practice fundraising.
Who we regulate
From street fundraising to large-scale fundraising events, we regulate all fundraising in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- charities registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
- exempt charities
- other organisations with entirely or predominantly charitable, philanthropic and benevolent objectives, and
- open membership (if there are members)
- a not-for-profit structure, or
- an acceptable dissolution clause (in the event that the charity ceases to operate, that any remaining assets go to a charity with similar charitable objects)
- agencies and other organisations employed by charities to raise funds for them.
Where fundraising is carried out in aid of an organisation, but without the organisation's permission, we will assess on a case-by-case basis whether any responsibility can reasonably be assigned to the charity in respect of the activity concerned.
Fundraising regulation in Scotland
Fundraising self-regulation in Scotland is different to the system in place in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
This is because fundraising by charities only registered in Scotland is subject to regulation by the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel.
Fundraising in Scotland by charities where the lead regulator is the Charity Commission in England and Wales, is regulated by us.
These are the same arrangements used by the Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator with cross-border charities. This means that, where the charity is primarily registered rather than where the fundraising takes place determines which regulatory system is to be used.
We work closely with the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel, on issues including changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice.
Further information can be found in our Memorandum of Understanding below.
Our mission, vision and values
A world in which fundraising is ethical and giving is sustainable; where donors and fundraisers have respect for each other.
We will regulate in a way that:
- promotes and supports a culture of ethical fundraising, protecting the public, donors and potential donors, not least those who may be vulnerable, and creating a positive donor experience
- provides redress for donors when things go wrong
- enhances and sustains public confidence in charitable fundraising and charities
- ensures the highest fundraising standards across the UK
- be independent, transparent, fair and proportionate
- ensure that the public has a voice
- give appropriate weight to regulatory action and support/guidance for the sector and for the public
- work with other regulators and representative bodies in the charitable and fundraising sectors to achieve our mission
- ensure value-for-money in all our operations
We were established in 2016, following widespread concern about how charities contact donors and potential donors.
Over the summer of 2015, Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, led a government-commissioned review into the self-regulation of charity fundraising. The review took evidence from stakeholders in order to identify what changes are required to rebuild public trust in fundraising by charities.
We assumed responsibility for regulating fundraising from 7 July 2016.
For more on what we have achieved, see our annual review.
Working with similar organisations
We have memorandums of understanding with other organisations where there are issues of mutual interest or concern.. These set out how we intend to work together to achieve efficiency and clarify our roles.