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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Charity refuses to pay for new fundraising regulator

This news post is over 6 years old
 

One of the UK's top 50 fundraising charities has refused to pay its levy to cover the set up costs of the new Fundraising Regulator

The Tate art gallery is the first of the UK’s 50 biggest fundraising charities to refuse to pay £15,000 in start up costs to the new Fundraising Regulator.

Another two charities, Parkinson’s UK and the RNIB, have both expressed reservations about paying the fee and are still in discussions with the regulator over it.

The Tate Foundation has an annual income of around £42 million and is a registered charity established to act as a focus for the fundraising activities of Tate Gallery.

Tate itself is a non-departmental public body and a registerd charity not regulated by the Charity Commission in England and Wales.

Our donors, members and supporters look to us for transparency and guidance in any financial decisions we make, and we are committed to making the best use of the voluntary donations that we receive - Parkinson's UK

A spokeswoman for Tate said: "Tate is an executive non-departmental public body sponsored and already regulated for charity law purposes by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

"Tate fully supports the idea of a regulator, but its fundraising does not include the activities covered by the Etherington review recommendations and it was not clear that it would be appropriate to contribute.

"Tate would of course be open to discussions as to how the proposals might be broadened to include other fundraising activities."

The new UK fundraising regulator has been created following a series of stories of bad fundraising practise in the media last year, including excessive targeting of elderly and vulnerable donors.

It is expected to be funded through a levy on all charities that spend over £100,000 a year on fundraising.

While the payment of this levy is voluntary, the government’s charity bill does give it the power to impose a mandatory registration fee if charities refuse to comply.

It is thought that 38 out of the top 50 fundraising charities have already agreed to pay the initial fee, and the chair regulator Lord Michael Grade is in dialogue with the remaining organisations.

Parkinson’s UK director of fundraising Paul Jackson-Clark explained the charities concerns: "Our donors, members and supporters look to us for transparency and guidance in any financial decisions we make, and we are committed to making the best use of the voluntary donations that we receive.

"Because of this, and following discussions between our senior leadership team and trustees, we have asked the regulator for more information and to clarify a number of points ahead of making any decision."

Lesley-Anne Alexander, chief executive of the sight-loss charity RNIB, confirmed at a recent event that the charity still has concerns about the fee.

The £15,000 contribution is expected to cover the regulator’s initial costs, including staff and accommodation, capital expenditure, survey and data-collection work, and governance expenditure.

 

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