New fund-raising rules for charities - some will face bans
There are some new rules for charities that have been proposed, that will see them banned from fundraising via mailouts and cold-calls, if they don't do as they're told. Not only that, but the government review has also recommended the creation of a new register, which will allow people to opt out of absolutely all charity contact.
This is a response to concerns that charities, while doing a good thing by and large, can be too aggressive with their fundraising. Some charitable organisations have been criticised for the tactics they employ, especially when dealing with vulnerable members of society.
Sir Stuart Etherington, from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, who headed up the review, said the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) "really doesn't have the clout or the sanctions" to stop charities who are overstepping the mark.
He added: "We have to make sure that we restore public confidence in charity. Not all charities behaved in this manner, indeed I suspect it was very few, but we've got to tackle those problems, otherwise I think the charity brand, if you like, will be damaged."
The report recommended that the UK gets a new regulator, which will be funded by a levy on charities themselves. The new regulator would report to a parliamentary committee. The would be able to stop charities contacting anyone, if they are found in breach of rules. Any charity that persists would be named-and-shamed also.
Sir Stuart said of the new regulator: "It will be able to say to charities, 'That fund-raising method that you're using, you're using inappropriately and we're going to stop you using that for a while.'" He added that Britain was a "tremendously generous country" but charities aren't thinking hard enough about "what it was like to be on the receiving end of some of their fund-raising methods".
"The reality is that most people give to charities when they are asked to, rather than spontaneously, so charities do need to ask. But they should inspire people to give, not pressure them to."