A new Code of Fundraising Practice is out for consultation, and whether you are a big cross-border charity or a local community organisation, this will affect you.
The Code of Fundraising Practice outlines the standards expected of all charitable fundraising organisations across the UK. The Fundraising Regulator holds the code and applies it when adjudicating on charities registered in England and Wales, as well as cross-border organisations.
It is also used by the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel to adjudicate on complaints regarding charities registered in Scotland. Both the Fundraising Regulator and the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel hold charity trustees to account when investigating fundraising complaints using the code. This is why it is not just practising fundraisers who should be familiar with the code, but also volunteers, leadership teams and trustee boards to name but a few.
So, what are the changes?
The current consultation is focused on improving the accessibility of the code, with changes to style, presentation and language – not just content. The aim of the proposed changes is to clarify the purpose of the code, ensure the language is clear and consistent, and to simplify which parts of the code are applicable in different legal jurisdictions.
The proposed changes include incorporating the rulebooks into the main code (so no flipping back and forth), a new introduction and table of contents, a glossary (at last!), and a plain English review of the language.
There will also be a new website to accompany the new code and additional guidance.
How will this make a difference to fundraisers in Scotland?
The new code will be more streamlined and easier to navigate, which will make it easier to use day-to-day and make it more accessible to everyone. This should also make its incorporation into induction training for all fundraising staff and volunteers, as well senior leadership and trustees more straight forward.
It will also make adjudication of complaints in Scotland simpler as the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel will be able to signpost the code in its individual responses and public decisions.
The navigation of different legal jurisdictions will also be clearer, which will make it more user-friendly for charities working in Scotland and in multiple jurisdictions.
So, what should you do? The consultation on the code is running until 16 November, and you can respond online, by email or by writing to: Policy Department, Fundraising Regulator, 2nd Floor, CAN Mezzanine, 49-51 East Road, London N1 6AH.
Keep an eye out for the new code, which is expected to be published in March 2019.