Fundraising Regulator publishes results of review into compliance with fundraising reporting requirements

The Fundraising Regulator has published the results of its latest review into charities’ compliance with the fundraising reporting requirements in Section 13 of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 and has updated its guidance to support charities to meet the requirements.

It is a legal requirement under the Act for charities registered in England and Wales with a gross income of over £1 million to include statements on their fundraising activities in their annual report.

The review assesses a sample of 187 charity annual reports against the six fundraising reporting requirements in the Act and finds that although charities are complying in some areas, there is still work to do to improve reporting. 

The review found:

  • 81% of reports included a statement about a charity’s fundraising approach. 
  • 67% of reports included a statement on the regulatory schemes they adhered to. 
  • 59% of reports included a statement on the number of complaints about fundraising. 
  • 41% of reports included a statement on third-party monitoring.
  • 40% of reports included a statement on protecting vulnerable people.

Although many charities are reporting on their fundraising approach, of concern is that many are not reporting on their monitoring of third parties, protecting vulnerable people, their commitment to voluntary regulations and complaints received.

While the review found that very few reports (21%) complied with all six of the fundraising reporting requirements, we recognise that this is only the second year that charities have had to report in this way. 

To support improvements in meeting the requirements of the Act, we have published updated guidance, which includes detailed information on how to write clear and detailed statements. This will not only help ensure compliance with the Act, but that fundraising-related activity can be understood by the public and support increased trust in the sector.  

This review builds on analysis we carried out in the first year the requirements came into effect, which also found a low level of compliance. However, it is not possible to compare these reviews directly, as we adjusted our scoring methods and increased the sample size in year two, so that the findings are more representative of the sector. 

Gerald Oppenheim, Chief Executive of the Fundraising Regulator, said: 

“Although there is still work to do to achieve compliance with the reporting requirements, it’s positive to see most charities reporting on their fundraising approach, thereby demonstrating their commitment to transparency. 

“As we approach year three of these reporting requirements, I urge charities and trustees to read our guidance, not only because the law requires these areas to be reported on, but most importantly because this gives supporters more information about charities’ fundraising activities. We remain committed to working with the sector to achieve comprehensive, detailed reports and our updated guidance is designed to help facilitate this.”

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