Fundraising regulator announces New Rules & Guidance for Online Fundraising
The Fundraising Regulator holds the Code of Fundraising Practice for the UK and sets and maintains the standards for charitable fundraising, they aim to ensure that fundraising is respectful, open, honest and accountable to the public and regulate fundraising in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Fundraising Regulator has published guidance for platforms such as JustGiving requiring them to be more transparent and setting out what it expects from them.
It has also published separate guidance for the public who raise funds on these platforms to prevent people from inadvertently breaching the code, help them understand what to expect and how to identify fraudulent pages.
Changes have been made following questions over how the money raised through crowdfunding pages reaches the people that donors want to help, especially after an unexpected event such as the Grenfell Tower disaster where no charity is named to receive the donations to help those specific people.
The code says that the regulator "encourages" platforms to register with it, but doesn't explicitly compel them to.
It requires platforms to make it clear about their fees and how they are calculated. It also says that platforms must provide good practice guidance for fundraisers and link to the regulator's guidance for the public.
Guidance produced by the platforms must make fundraisers aware of the difference between raising money for a charity to use as it sees fit and raising money for a particular purpose. If it's the latter then platforms must tell fundraisers to contact the charity to ensure that they want the money.
Fundraising platforms must also comply with data protection and other relevant laws.
Guidance for Fundraising Platforms: 5 focus areas for donor transparency
The Code of Fundraising Practice requires that all reasonable steps are taken to treat a donor fairly, enabling them to make an informed decision to donate. All fundraising platforms should provide clear, transparent and accessible information on their services to ensure that members of the public know where their donation is going and what their rights are in the event of a problem.
The Fundraising Regulator analysed information provided to donors across eighteen well-known platforms. Whilst recognised that many platforms are already providing a significant amount of information regarding their activities, the five questions below were identified as key areas in which information is not always clear for donors. This guidance represents the minimum standard of information we would expect to see for donors to be able to make an informed decision to donate.
Displaying core information for donors
The Fundraising Regulator requires that the above questions are adequately addressed by all fundraising platforms and clearly signposted before the individual commits to any donation in an appropriate and prominent place (for example, prior to the "donate" button being clicked). To ensure consistency and enable easy comparison between sites, it is further recommended that a link to a "Fees and charges" page should be clearly highlighted on the footer links at the bottom of the platform's homepage.
Find information here about the 4,000+ voluntary organisations in Powys including how to access the Info-engine database