Complaining about how a charity raises money has been made much easier

Scottish fundraising complaints website

Charity fundraising complaints hub launched

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7th July 2016 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

Members of the public can now call a free-phone number or log on to a new website to complain about how a charity is raising money in Scotland.

Scottish Fundraising Complaints, which went live today (Thursday), aims to be a one stop shop, providing people with all the information they need to resolve any concerns they have about a charity.

Designed to give the public more protection against aggressive fundraising tactics, those who contact the hub will initially be put in touch with the right person to speak to in the charity they are complaining about in the hope the vast majority of issues can be dealt with between the two parties.

For those issues which can’t be resolved that way, there is a process which sees an independent panel involved and then the Scottish charity regulator OSCR if need be.

The complaints hub’s launch follows last week’s announcement that a Scottish independent fundraising panel will be formed, comprising members of the public, donors, fundraisers, OSCR and the Scottish Government, to enforce standards that all charities will be expected to stick to north of the border.

Complaining about how a charity raises money has been made much easierMartin Sime

This new phone and email service will make it easier for members of the public to complain about charity fundraising

The hub was set up by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and OSCR and is considered an important element of the new regulation standards being implemented in Scotland.

Martin Sime, chief executive, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, said: “This new phone and email service will make it easier for members of the public to complain about charity fundraising by helping them find the right place to raise their fundraising complaint and get it resolved.

“It coincides with the launch of a whole new chapter in the story of fundraising standards and the need for our sector to nurture public trust and confidence in what we do.”

David Robb, chief executive of OSCR, said he hoped it would maintain the public’s trust and confidence in Scotland’s charities.

“Donors and charities have a shared interest in sustainable, ethical fundraising practices,” he said.

“We are pleased to have contributed to the new partnership approach that reflects the views of the sector in Scotland, and welcome today’s announcement of the new complaints hub and dedicated telephone number.

“We will continue to support the developing arrangements for Scotland and while our experience is that charities generally raise funds responsibly, this new framework will support the public’s continuing confidence in charities and their vital work.”

Meanwhile, the new UK Fundraising Regulator, which Scottish charities will not be subject to, also launched today.

Speaking about the launch of Scottish Fundraising Complaints, the Scottish Government communities secretary Angela Constance confirmed that the Fundraising Regulator will however operate as the lead regulator for cross-border charities, where charities operate in Scotland but are registered in England and Wales.

“Most charities in Scotland operate to high standards and do a valuable job, for which we as a country are very grateful,” she said.

“However, Scotland’s charities benefit from a great deal of public trust and it’s important that that confidence is maintained.

“In relation to cross border charities, we will follow a 'lead' regulator model – as used by OSCR and Charity Commission – for charities with headquarters in England and Wales but which fundraise in Scotland, who will comply with the Scottish regulatory system but will be regulated by the Fundraising Regulator.

“This move follows extensive consultation with the third sector and the public and I’m confident it will keep public trust in our charities at the high level they deserve to be.”

Members of the public concerned about the fundraising tactics of a charity in Scotland, should call Scottish Fundraising Complaints on 0808 164 2520, visit fundraisingcomplaints.scot or email [email protected].