A welcome alternative

A welcome alternative

Will the new FSB promote public confidence in charity fundraising?

The charity sector last month applauded the launch of the Fundraising
Standards Board. Membership of the FSB is voluntary, but charities that choose
to join agree to adhere to a strict set of fundraising codes and a ‘Fundraising
Promise’ – more than 250 charities have already signed up to the self-regulation
scheme.

The ‘Fundraising Promise’ commits charities to treat the public with respect,
fairness, honesty and clarity in all their money-raising activities. Charities
that belong to this scheme will use a special ‘tick’ logo that will also be
promoted to the general public.

The proposal for creation of the FSB arose out of a government document
published in 2003 on charity law and regulation. This document recommended for
the first time that a new body should be set up to develop self regulation. This
would develop a scheme that commits charities to the Institute of Fundraising
Codes of Practice and would promote greater public confidence in fundraising and
provide a clear channel for the public to raise any complaints.

Charity Finance Directors’ Group supports the work of the FSB and the role it
can play in bringing about greater accountability and transparency within the
sector. We hope this new scheme provides for greater public confidence and trust
in the management of charities.

It has been a rocky road getting to the point of launch for this scheme, but
it has got to be worth it when the alternative is statutory regulation imposed
on the sector.

This move by the voluntary and community sector towards greater transparency
and accountability is also reflected by the appointment of a director, Dr
Richard Marsh, at the ImpACT (Improving Accountability, Clarity and
Transparency) Coalition.

Marsh will be driving the Coalition’s work forward to promote better public
understanding of how charities work and the benefits they bring to society.

At CFDG we are working to ensure we promote and share best practice in
transparency and accountability for charities in putting together their annual
accounts.

A good set of annual accounts is a powerful marketing document that provides
persuasive evidence of a well run charity that deserves support.

It is important that fundraisers, marketing managers and finance directors
keep up a constant dialogue with each other to make sure they operate in ways
which ensure transparency and accountability.

Ernese Skinner is policy and campaigns officer at the
Charity Finance Directors’ Group

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