Review of complaints to the Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator

On the 25 February, the Charity Commission published its report on the complaints and serious incident reports made from April to June 2019. The report reviewed 200 of the complaints received by the Commission where no direct ‘regulatory action’ was required.

The findings of the report have been summarised by the Commission as follows:

• People who complain are usually people you know

• Be accountable – it’s worth making the effort to explain and to listen properly

• Don’t take your status as a charity, and the public’s support, for granted

• How you do something is as important as what you do

Helen Stephenson, CEO of the Charity Commission, declares “Charity can and should lead the way in taking public expectations seriously. If you’re a charity, that includes showing that you take complaints and concerns seriously and are responding appropriately.”

Following this, the Fundraising Regulator published its own ‘Complaints Report 2018/19’ on the 27 February.

The key findings of the Report have been summarised below:

• The total number of complaints reported in 2018/19 was 20,541, 6% lower than the 21,851 reported in 2017/18.

• Addressed mail, door-to-door fundraising and outdoor events were the most complained about methods of fundraising.

• Complaints about clothing collections, online advertising and email fundraising fell significantly on the figures reported in 2017/18, by 55%, 16% and 15% respectively.

The Chair of the Complaints and Investigations Committee, Michael Smyth CBE QC does end the Report’s foreword on a positive note, stating “Where we have identified breaches of the code, the organisations concerned have accepted our findings and have taken steps to make improvements. I am pleased to note that the fundraising sector is responsive to feedback and puts learning from our investigations into practice in a timely manner.”

For further information please contact Nicola Mason on 01772 821021.