Today the Fundraising Regulator announced its five-year strategic plan (2022-2027).
The Fundraising Regulator has been in operation for six years now, and the Code of Fundraising Practice was last reviewed in 2018. The first notable announcement in the strategy is a planned review of the code. This will involve a consultation exercise with charities and the public and is set to take place (or at least to commence) in 2022 or 2023.
The second theme of most interest to me is technology in the fundraising world. It is expected that there will be significant new rules relating to digital fundraising. Clarification of rules in the sphere of digital fundraising is, I believe, welcome. Legislation regulating charitable fundraising has been increasingly struggling to apply to modern fundraising methods. Trying to apply concepts developed in 1992 to new fundraising methodologies is an issue I am presented with on a regular basis in my own work. And as I often explain to clients, the Charities Act 1992 (still the core piece of legislation guiding fundraising regulation) was written in an era when the primary fundraising methodology was coins in buckets or, every so often, telephoning in banks of celebrities brandishing red phones (RIP Terry Wogan) ready to pledge to send a cheque in the post.
The fundraising world we inhabit now is unrecognisable: now we fundraise against NFTs, receive donations in bitcoin, and host online events on platforms such as Twitch and TikTok. The next update of the code will provide a framework for fundraising within this digital context, which can only be a good thing.
Lord Toby Harris, Chair of the Fundraising Regulator, said: “We have seen considerable changes in the fundraising landscape since we were established and anticipate that methods will continue to shift and develop over the next five years too – shaped by wider social, economic and technological changes."