Progressive, Proportionate and Preventative

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Fundraising

Charity donation jar 2

Fundraising is an essential activity for many, if not most, charities.  It’s what supports them in allowing them to pursue their charitable objectives – and it ultimately rests  on public confidence.

An organisation doesn’t have to be a charity in order to raise money for good causes.  Indeed, many charities employ professional fundraisers to act on their behalf. 

But there are rules that must be followed. Some specific elements of fundraising are regulated by OSCR but, in general, fundraising is governed by a system of self-regulation.

What areas of fundraising does OSCR cover?

Our interest in fundraising is very specific.  The 2005 Act outlines our powers and the requirements for ‘benevolent fundraisers’, supported by further Regulations.  Also, anyone organising collections over the whole or a substantial part of Scotland may apply to us to be made an ‘exempt promoter’ to save applying to individual local authorities.  You can find more detailed information, including the list of Exempt Promoters, here.

Fundraising Complaints: 

Charity fundraising in the UK is governed on a self-regulatory basis. This means that the charity sector itself sets the standards for charity fundraising, with some laws underpinning the self-regulation.

Fundraising complaints UK and Scotland

Who do I complain to about a Scottish charity’s fundraising activities?
 

  1. The first step is to complain to the charity directly. You can find contact details for all the charities registered in Scotland at the Scottish Charity Register.  

You can contact the Scottish charity fundraising complaints hub run by SCVO:

Helpline: 0808 1642520                                             

Website: www.fundraisingcomplaints.scot 

Email: scottishfundraisingcomplaints@scvo.org.uk  

  1. If you have been through the charity’s own complaints procedure and are still unhappy you can complain to the Independent Standards and Adjudication Panel for charity fundraising in Scotland (the Panel). 

The Panel will review your complaint and decide if the charity has breached the fundraising standards, and if they have, decide what steps the charity needs to take to resolve the problem.  

  1. If the Panel think your complaint might indicate wider concerns about the charity they may refer the matter to OSCR to assess under our Inquiry Policy.

 
Fundraising complaints 3 stage


I live in Scotland and I’m being contacted by a charity in registered England and Wales – what should I do? 

Complaints about charities registered in the rest of the UK are dealt with by the Fundraising Regulator: http://www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/. If you have been through the charity’s own complaints procedure and are still unhappy, you should contact them.

 

I live in England/Wales/Northern Ireland and I’m being contacted by a charity in Scotland – what should I do? 

Complaints should be sent to the charity in the first instance. You can find contact details for all the charities registered in Scotland at the Scottish Charity Register.

 

You can contact the Scottish charity fundraising complaints hub run by SCVO: 

Helpline: 0808 1642520                                             

Website: www.fundraisingcomplaints.scot 

Email:     scottishfundraisingcomplaints@scvo.org.uk

 

What is the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS)?

The FPS is a service for members of the public to manage their communications from charities. It is due to be launched in 2017. Anyone in the UK can use the service but the FPS will only apply to charities who are registered in England and Wales with the Charity Commission.

For more information see: https://www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/support-advice-for-donors/the-fundraising-preference-service/.

 

How can I stop charities contacting me? 

You can contact the charity that you don’t wish to hear from and ask them not to send you any more fundraising information. You can also register with one of the preference services to stop direct marketing generally:

 

Where can I find more information? 

Direct marketing communications of any kind, whether from a charity or not, are regulated by the UK Information Commissioners office. You can visit their website to find out more information on your rights:

For fundraising complaints about Scottish charities, go to the Scottish Fundraising Complaints hub: 

Helpline: 0808 1642520                                             

Website: www.fundraisingcomplaints.scot 

Email:    scottishfundraisingcomplaints@scvo.org.uk