Last month the Fundraising Regulator published its latest report reviewing charities' compliance with the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016, which now requires charities to report on specific aspects of their fundraising activities.
Section 13 of the 2016 Act requires charities to include in the trustees' annual report statements on:
- the charity's methods of fundraising, including whether they use professional fundraisers
- whether the charity participated in any voluntary standard for fundraising
- whether the charity fell short of any of these standards
- whether the charity monitors the activities carried on by people on behalf of the charity for the purposes of fundraising, and if so, how
- the number of complaints the charity has received with respect to fundraising
- and what measures the charity has taken to protect vulnerable people.
The first review by the Fundraising Regulator, published earlier this year, analysed the compliance of 106 charities with these requirements and found that the majority were not compliant with the Act – perhaps unsurprising since this was the first year in which charities had to meet the new requirements.
A further review on the next set of annual reports, carried out last month, revealed that whilst 81% of charities reported on their fundraising approach and 67% included details of any voluntary standards they adhered to, only 59% could state how many complaints they had received and only 40% accounted for what procedures the charities had in place to protect vulnerable people. In total, only 21% of charities reported on all the issues required by the Act.
Many charities are reporting effectively on their fundraising approach, and to a lesser extent on fundraising standards. However, the Fundraising Regulator has found that most charities are still falling short of the requirements when reporting on the monitoring of complaints and what they are doing to protect vulnerable people. This does not mean that charities do not have the necessary monitoring or policies in place, but they are failing to report properly on what they are doing.
To help charities with the drafting of the reports in future years, the Fundraising Regulator has produced updated guidance.
If you have any questions about your charity's reporting requirements, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Chris Priestley or your usual contact in the Charities and Philanthropy team.