27 March 2020 - Article
Following the death of Mrs Olive Cooke, the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) has launched an investigation into the tactics and methods used by charities for fundraising practices. The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) has also announced that it will review its Code of Fundraising Practice and guidance in the light of Mrs Cooke's death.
The FRSB interim report into its investigation is expected this month, but the FRSB, the IoF, and Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) have acknowledged that more robust standards are needed and have launched a joint plan to build public trust and confidence in fundraising activities. It is expected that their plans will include proposals for:
- appointing an independent chair of Standards Committee to oversee fundraising standards;
- strengthening the current Code of Fundraising Practice (based on the issues of public concern identified in the FRSB interim investigation report);
- reviewing and tightening the practice of buying, sharing or selling of data between charities;
- monitoring ongoing concerns / complaints about the issues raised within the FRSB investigation;
- investigating the feasibility of a sector wide mystery shopping programme across a range of methods and charities, to drive up standards and drive out any rogue practices; and
- placing greater emphasis on making the public aware that fundraising is regulated and that they can raise their concerns.
Separately, Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, has called for a single body to replace the three organisations (the FRSB, IoF and PFRA) that oversee charity fundraising. He explained that there is public disconnect with fundraising and challenged the three organisations to come up with a solution that was less confusing.