Fundraising Regulator reports surge in complaints but can't explain why
Complaints made to the Fundraising Regulator have massively increased – but it is not known why.
According to the new organisation, which governs fundraising in England and Wales, complaints went “through the roof” in January with initial analysis of data not conclusively pointing to any one reason.
Head of policy and communications, Gerald Oppenheim, said the regulator has so far received around 500 complaints since it had been established, but that there had been a spike in January, for reasons the regulator did not understand.
The Fundraising Regulator was established in January 2016, following widespread public and media concern about how charities contact potential donors.
It assumed responsibility for regulating fundraising from 7 July last year and will operate the new Fundraising Preference Service once this is developed.
Oppenheim told a seminar on charity policy in London: "Since 7 July last year we’ve had around 500 complaints from members of the public.
"Up to Christmas that was running at around 70 a month, but in January it’s gone through the roof.
“We don’t know why. It’s not just pre-Christmas charity fundraising campaigning. We can’t discern any trend."
The new body was dealing with up to 20 cases at any one time Oppenheimer said and that it was on schedule to publish new guidance on data protection on 21 February.
Complaints concerning fundraising in Scotland are made to a separate body, Scottish Fundraising Complaints.