Regulator to update fundraising code to include standards for online giving platforms

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It is one of the developments from a meeting last week involving the Fundraising Regulator, Charity Commission and major giving platforms

The Fundraising Regulator will update the Code of Fundraising Practice to include standards for online giving platforms, following a meeting between charity regulators and the platforms last week.

The Fundraising Regulator, the Charity Commission and representatives from 14 of the online giving platforms met last week to discuss issues such as how to tackle fraud on websites that allow people to set up fundraising pages.

In a joint statement published yesterday, attendees at the meeting said the code had been among the topics discussed.

The statement said: “The Fundraising Regulator is reviewing the Code of Fundraising Practice and wants to update and expand the standards for online fundraising set out in the code.

“Platforms will work with the Fundraising Regulator to contribute to the review of the code.”

The regulator last month announced a wider consultation on possible changes to the code, which is due to be launched later this month.

At the meeting, the platforms also committed to working with the regulators to review “their resilience to fraud and to create a new forum to share advice and intelligence about potential fraud threats”, the joint statement said.

And they have committed to offering advice and guidance to the individuals setting up fundraising pages about the choices available to them and their responsibilities.

Although all the platforms said they already had robust anti-fraud measures in place, the statement said: “More can be done, working collaboratively, to ensure clear and consistent advice across different platforms and generally to the public.

“It is critical to avoid confusion about, for example, accountability to the Charity Commission, eligibility for Gift Aid, and what happens in the event of a failed appeal.

“Platforms agree to work with the Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator to agree and disseminate clear and consistent public advice about the choices available for donating.

The Charity Commission and the Fundraising Regulator will report back to Tracey Crouch, the Minister for Civil Society, on the progress of discussions and whether they think the current regulatory framework is adequate, the statement said.

It added that online fundraising platforms that had not attended the meeting were invited to join future discussions.

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