A refreshed rulebook for how anyone doing fundraising should go about their important business is on the way. The Fundraising Regulator’s consultation on a revised Code of Fundraising Practice closes today – in its response, the charity Directory of Social Change (DSC), which helps charity fundraisers across the UK, argues that the new version is a big improvement. However, there’s more work to do – including support for small charities and informal or volunteer fundraisers.
The Fundraising Regulator (FR) maintains the Code and keeps it up to date. It has been consulting on the style, presentation, clarity and accessibility of the Code, rather than fundamental changes. DSC has examined the proposals and argues that features such as a revised table of contents and structure, inclusion of a glossary and rulebooks for face-to-face fundraising, as well as a ‘Plain English’ review and wider streamlining of the Code, has made a real difference.
Nevertheless, important questions remain about roll-out of the new version. Charities need enough time to adapt to the changes and the Fundraising Regulator should provide additional support as the new version is adopted. The regulator should view training as complimentary to applying the Code, because it helps fundraisers apply the rules to real situations, so they can work to the highest standards possible.
If the benefits of a more user-friendly Code are to be fully realised, much depends on how it will be implemented online in the future. The regulator needs to devote resources to make the Code more accessible and ‘more alive’. The regulator should also gather further feedback from practitioners and other interested people through user testing of the new online version of the revised Code.
Announcing DSC’s response, DSC’s Policy and Public Affairs Manager Daniel Ferrell-Schweppenstedde said: ‘Overall, the revised Code contains many improvements that make it a clearer, more accessible document. Credit is due to the Fundraising Regulator for carrying out a good consultation and responding to feedback. To get the most benefit, they need to enhance the current online version of the Code, to keep improving the navigation and clarity of information. We think this will be especially important for smaller charities and voluntary organisations.’
He concluded: ‘It’s also important to note that seemingly minor changes to the text may lead to confusion or misinterpretation, and the regulator needs to bear this in mind when rolling out the new version and in future investigations. By design, this consultation doesn’t address key questions about how the content might need to evolve, for example around safeguarding and how it relates to fundraising. They need to continue to engage and consult widely on any future changes.’
For more information please contact Daniel Ferrell-Schweppenstedde, Directory of Social Change by email ([email protected]) or phone (020 7697 4293, 07932 072 597).