Charities must proactively work with fundraising agencies to ensure public trust in the industry is restored
Charities must take every opportunity to uphold public confidence and protect themselves from financial risk.
That's the view of a watchdog chief, who welcomed new guidelines for how third sector groups deal with fundraising agencies.
Stephen Dunmore, interim chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator for England and Wales, said all aspects of how charities gather cash must be scrutinised so there are no slip-ups from bad practice.
He spoke as the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) published guidance of how best to handle third-party fundraisers.
Every aspect of the fundraising relationship must be considered to ensure the public can have confidence and to protect charities
It was published in the wake of criticism of the conduct of some agencies working for charities.
The guidance calls on third sector groups using agencies to fundraise to set “realistic, practical and achievable” targets.
It also warns that “complaint levels should not be the only indicator or measure of the quality of your activity”.
Dunmore commented: “It is imperative that every aspect of the fundraising relationship is carefully considered by both charities and agencies to ensure the public can have confidence in fundraising practice and to protect charities from reputational and financial risk."
Daniel Fluskey, head of policy at the IoF, said: "It is beyond doubt that fundraising agencies, suppliers, and third parties have played a crucial role in the development and success of fundraising in the UK.
"The capacity, expertise, insight, and innovation that partners have provided has enabled charities to grow, reach new supporters, and do more work towards achieving their objectives. But, like any relationship, if the right foundations aren’t in place then you’re likely to run into problems. Getting it right takes time, thought, and effort not just in the establishment of the relationship, but all the way through.
“For those who want to get it right, our new guide is there to help you. At the heart of the approach running through the guide is the emphasis and importance of establishing partnerships between charities and agencies as the basis of success.”
Read the guide here.