Fundraising Regulator


Fundraising Regulator
Fundraising Regulator.svg
PredecessorFundraising Standards Board (FRSB)
TypeRegistered Company
PurposeRegulation of fundraising
HeadquartersEagle House 167 City Road London EC1V 1AW
  • London, England

The Fundraising Regulator is the independent regulator of charitable fundraising in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.[1]

It was established on 7 July 2016, replacing the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB). The Regulator developed from recommendations made by the cross-party Review of fundraising regulation chaired by Sir Stuart Etherington in September 2015.[2]

Fundraising by charities only registered in Scotland is regulated by the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel.[3]

Regulatory activities

Levy and registration

The Fundraising Regulator is funded through a voluntary levy on charities spending £100,000 or more each year on fundraising. Other charities outside the levy can register to demonstrate their commitment to the fundraising standards by paying an administrative charge of £50 a year.[4]

From March 2018, charities in Northern Ireland were able to register with the Fundraising Regulator.[5]

In March 2019, the Fundraising Regulator announced it was changing the way it collects its levy. The changes came into effect in September 2019.[6][7]

The Code of Fundraising Practice

The Code of Fundraising Practice sets the standards that apply to fundraising carried out by all charitable institutions and third-party fundraisers in the UK.[8]

The code was originally developed in 2005 by the Institute of Fundraising.[9] The cross-party Review recommended responsibility for the code be transferred to the new Fundraising Regulator.[10]

Amendments to the code

In October 2017 the Fundraising Regulator amended the code to give more privacy to volunteers who deal with static collection boxes.[11]

A consultation on proposed changes to the code regarding data protection ran from October 2017 to December 2017.[12]

In June 2018 new standards were introduced for online fundraising platforms.[13][14]

A consultation aimed at improving the accessibility of the code ran from 10 September 2018 to 16 November 2018.[9] On 6 June 2019 the Fundraising Regulator published an updated version of the code which came into effect on 1 October 2019.[15][16][17][18]


The Fundraising Regulator investigates complaints about fundraising where these cannot be resolved by the organizations themselves. It does so by considering whether the fundraising organization has complied with the code. It deals with complaints about fundraising in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and fundraising in Scotland where it is carried out by charities registered primarily with the Charity Commission for England and Wales[19] or the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.[20][21]

In October 2018 the Board of the Fundraising Regulator decided to name organizations it investigated from 1 March 2019.[22] The first set of 10 named investigation summaries was issued in September 2019.[23]

Fundraising Preference Service

The Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) is a service run by the Fundraising Regulator that allows members of the public to request charities stop contacting them by email, telephone, post and/or text message with fundraising requests. People can make a request on behalf of someone else if they have their authority to do so.[24]

The FPS launched on 6 July 2017.[25] In January 2018 the Fundraising Regulator announced a Welsh language version of the FPS.[26]

In March 2019 the Fundraising Regulator named for the first-time charities it was acting against for breaching the FPS.[27] It also announced charities would have 21 days to act on suppression requests made through the FPS.[28]

At its annual meeting in November 2019 the Fundraising Regulator announced a formal review of the FPS to be conducted in 2020.[4]


The Fundraising Regulator is a company limited by guarantee (No.10016446) in England and Wales and is governed by a non-executive board of directors.[29][30]

In July 2018, Gerald Oppenheim replaced Stephen Dunmore as Chief Executive of the Fundraising Regulator.[31][32]

On 1 January 2019, Lord Toby Harris succeeded Lord Grade as Chair of the Fundraising Regulator.[33][34]

History of fundraising regulation

Fundraising Standards Board

The Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) was established in 2007 as the independent self-regulatory scheme for fundraising in the UK.[35] The FRSB regulated charity compliance with standards applying to different types of fundraising activity in England and Wales set out in a Code of Fundraising Practice compiled by the Institute of Fundraising.[36] The Fundraising Regulator replaced the FRSB following the review of fundraising self-regulation in 2015. The FRSB announced its closure on 10 November 2016.[37]

Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA)

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association oversaw door to door and street fundraising where a fundraiser asks someone to make a regular donation to a charity by direct debit.[36] The Fundraising Regulator assumed the PFRA’s regulatory powers following the review of fundraising self-regulation in 2015. The PFRA merged with the Institute of Fundraising in August 2016.[38]

Review of the Charities Act 2006

In 2011, the UK government appointed Lord Hodgson to conduct a review of the Charities Act 2006.[39][40] The review identified that the self-regulatory system of fundraising in the UK was “confused” with three bodies involved; the Institute of Fundraising, the FRSB and the PFRA.[40]

Review of fundraising self-regulation

Former Chief Executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) Sir Stuart Etherington chaired a review into the self-regulation of charity fundraising in 2015 with a cross-party review panel of three peers; Lord Leigh of Hurley, Baroness Pitkeathley and Lord Wallace of Saltaire.[10][41]

The review recommended:

  • replacing the FRSB with a new fundraising regulator
  • that fundraising regulation remains self-regulatory
  • that charity leaders take more responsibility for fundraising activities
  • that responsibility for the Code of Fundraising Practice should be transferred from the Institute of Fundraising to the new regulator
  • that the regulatory responsibilities of the PFRA should transfer to the new regulator
  • the creation of a fundraising preference service that allows people to opt out of charity appeals.[42]


  1. ^ "About Us". Fundraising Regulator. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  2. ^ "New Fundraising Regulator takes over from today". 7 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Who we regulate". Fundraising Regulator. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Fundraising Preference Service suppression requests down by a third".
  5. ^ Cooney, Rebecca. "Northern Ireland charities can register with Fundraising Regulator from today".
  6. ^ March 2019, 06. "Fundraising Regulator to add two bands to fundraising levy". maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ "Fundraising Regulator announces levy changes to help smaller charities". UK Fundraising. 2019-03-06. Retrieved 2020-10-15.
  8. ^ "Code of Fundraising Practice". Fundraising Regulator.
  9. ^ a b Cooney, Rebecca. "Fundraising Regulator 'completely overhauls' Code of Fundraising Practice".
  10. ^ a b "Review of fundraising self-regulation". NCVO. 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2020-10-15.
  11. ^ "Fundraising code amended to protect volunteers who deal with static collection boxes".
  12. ^ "Fundraising Regulator publishes Code Consultation on Data Protection". Charity Digital.
  13. ^ "Fundraising Regulator announces new rules for online platforms".
  14. ^ "Fundraising Regulator publishes new rules for online fundraising platforms". UK Fundraising. 2018-06-07. Retrieved 2020-10-15.
  15. ^ Plummer, John. "Fundraising Regulator publishes final version of updated code of practice".
  16. ^ Cooney, Rebecca. "Ensure your fundraising materials are in line with revamped code, charities warned".
  17. ^ "Fundraising Regulator reveals brand new Code of Fundraising Practice". June 7, 2019.
  18. ^ "Fundraising Regulator launches revised Code of Fundraising Practice".
  19. ^ "The Charity Commission". GOV.UK.
  20. ^ "Home | The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland".
  21. ^ "Complaints process". Fundraising Regulator.
  22. ^ "Fundraising Regulator to name charities that have been investigated".
  23. ^ "Why publicising fundraising complaints can only be a good thing for the sector". October 24, 2019.
  24. ^ "Fundraising Preference Service".
  25. ^ Cooney, Rebecca. "Almost 500 people access the Fundraising Preference Service hours after launch".
  26. ^ "Fundraising Preference Service now available in Welsh". UK Fundraising. 2018-01-23. Retrieved 2020-10-15.
  27. ^ "Fundraising Regulator names 59 charities in breach of FPS". UK Fundraising. 2019-03-04. Retrieved 2020-10-15.
  28. ^ Cooney, Rebecca. "Charities will have 21 days to act on suppression requests from 1 March".
  29. ^ "Ethical fundraising, sustainable giving". Fundraising Regulator.
  30. ^ "Our governance". Fundraising Regulator.
  31. ^ "Gerald Oppenheim to be next chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator".
  32. ^ "Gerald Oppenheim announced new Chief Executive of Fundraising Regulator". UK Fundraising. 2018-03-26. Retrieved 2020-10-15.
  33. ^ "Labour peer Lord Harris announced as chair of the Fundraising Regulator".
  34. ^ "Fundraising Regulator appoints new chair".
  35. ^ "Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB)". GOV.UK.
  36. ^ a b "Strategic statement on the Charity Commission's regulation of fundraising". GOV.UK.
  37. ^ "Fundraising Standards Board returns £240k to former members".
  38. ^ Kay, Liam. "Public Fundraising Association lost £148,000 in final year".
  39. ^ "Charities Act 2006".
  40. ^ a b "Charities Act 2006 review". GOV.UK.
  41. ^ "Tough new fundraising regulator to ensure high standards – review". NCVO. 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2020-10-15.
  42. ^ "Charity fundraising review: key points for the voluntary sector". the Guardian. September 23, 2015.

External links

  • Official website