NEWS: Self-regulation should be reformed on advertising industry model

Plymouth University’s Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy (CSP) and its think tank Rogare have called for the formation of a totally new body to write, maintain and own fundraising’s professional standards.

Writing on Rogare’s Critical Fundraising blog today, Professor Adrian Sargeant, the CSP’s director, calls for the creation of a new body – the Committee of Fundraising Practice (CFP) ­– to mirror the standards setting role played in advertising by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP).

The new CFP would be composed entirely of experts from the fundraising sector, exactly as the CAP is composed of advertising experts. And just at the Advertising Standards Authority provides independent oversight of the standards set by the CAP, so the CFP’s standards would be monitored by the Fundraising Standards Board.

Sargeant calls for the FRSB to be funded by a small levy raised from Gift Aid returns to ensure that all fundraising charities would automatically be included in the self-regulation scheme.

Under plans announced by the Institute of Fundraising last week, professional fundraisers will now form a minority on the standards committee, occupying just seven of the 15 seats on the panel.

As part of the same call for change, Rogare’s director Ian MacQuillin – also writing on Critical Fundraising – says this could result in fundraisers losing control of their own professional standards to a ‘consumer protection block’ on the committee.

Sargeant also says that any fundamental review of the self-regulatory regime should be preceded by a review of the fundraising’s professional ethics – currently being conducted by Rogare – upon which the self-regulatory review would build.

Sargeant will write to the minister for civil society Rob Wilson to outline these ideas, and Rogare will publish a white paper later this summer providing more detailed plans for reform.

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