Sector umbrella body NAVCA has produced a briefing for small charities following a recent round table discussion with the Fundraising Regulator and around 12 other national bodies, including Small Charities Coalition, SCVO, FSI, ACEVO and NCVO. Here are some key points that small charities need to know:
The briefing defines smaller charities as “those that spend less than £100k pa on fundraising, regardless of their overall income.”
If you qualify as a ‘smaller charity’ you can register directly with the Fundraising Regulator for a fee of £50, rather than being subject to the levy applied to those who spend over £100k pa.
Whilst registration with the Regulator is voluntary, compliance with the Code and the Regulations it embodies is not, no matter how small a charity’s annual spend on fundraising OR their annual income overall. Any charity that is carrying out fundraising activity, even on a small scale, is subject to a complaint and to the Regulator’s complaints process.
Complaints against small charities
All charities – regardless of size – must have a viable complaints procedure in place. Not having one is in itself, a breach of the Code.
Fundraising Preference Service (FPS)
(FPS) does not just apply to large fundraising charities, it is applicable to any registered charity. It means that a member of the public can make a request through the FPS to be removed from a charity’s database and excluded from all future communications, even if they have never been contacted, and even if they are not already on the charity’s database.
The Fundraising Regulator has said that over time they will be contacting all registered charities to ensure they are included in the system. If a charity doesn’t respond to a request, this is a breach of the Code and will likely also breach the GDPR.
If unsure how to handle a complaint or an instance of whistleblowing, you can self-refer to the Regulator for advice and guidance. Failure to act or to co-operate with the Regulator may result in being reported to the Charity Commission, so a pro-active approach by the charity itself is recommended.