Fundraising Regulator Publishes Quarterly Investigation Reports

Publication Date01 October 2020
Subjectorporate/Commercial Law, Charities & Non-Profits
Law FirmWithers LLP
AuthorMr Chris Priestley and Chloe Harris

The Fundraising Regulator has published its quarterly summaries of investigations it has carried out.

The most recent summaries concern investigations into five charities. Amongst these there were issues such as charity bags being delivered to a 'restricted address'; a campaign for people to nominate their manager for a bungee jump; and a direct debit set up by a potentially vulnerable person.

Of particular interest was a complaint made against Crawley Open House on the basis that the charity had not provided appropriate support and guidance to the complainant when they organised two fundraising events for the benefit of the Charity. When the complainant, who was also a service user, first approached the Charity about running a bingo event in its name, the Charity agreed and provided a letter authority to use when collecting prizes. They also provided a volunteer to assist. However no written agreement was put in place.
Three months later the volunteer stepped down from assisting the complainant and the Charity decided to withdraw support for the event until another volunteer could be appointed. The complainant then held the event without the Charity's knowledge. Some months later, the complainant held a second event in the Charity's name without its knowledge and donated the '250 raised from both events to another charity.

The complainant complained directly to the Charity as they claimed to have been called a 'fraudster' during a meeting with the trustees and also said they had not received appropriate support from the Charity when organising the event. The Charity apologised and said they had not considered the complainant to be a fundraiser. The complainant then escalated the complaint to the Regulator.

The Regulator commented that despite the lack of a written agreement, the Charity had issued a letter of authority and therefore had acknowledged that the complainant was fundraising on its behalf. However the Charity had provided adequate support to the complainant in providing a volunteer.

The Code of Fundraising Practice does not require charities to have written agreements with 'on behalf of' fundraisers but the Regulator noted that it is beneficial, as it prevents confusion in situations such as this. The Regulator recommended that...

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