Research from the Fundraising Regulator has found that just one in five charities (21%) include all the required information about fundraising in their annual reports.
The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 requires charities with more than £1 million income to provide statements on six specific areas of their fundraising in their annual reports, including what it does to protect vulnerable people in relation to its fundraising activities, how it monitors third party fundraising activity carried out on its behalf, and how many complaints it received.
While these measures were introduced to promote trust and transparency in the sector, the latest figures suggest that few charities fully comply with the rules.
The regulator reviewed the annual reports of 187 levy-paying charities, which represents 10% of all organisations paying the Fundraising Regulator’s levy and covers a range of charities of different sizes.
The review found that while 81% of charities reported on their fundraising approach and 67% included a statement of regulatory schemes they adhered to, only 59% could state how many fundraising complaints they had received, only 41% included a statement on third party monitoring, and only 40% included a statement on protecting vulnerable people. In total, only 21% of charities provided all the required information.
The report says that although this is only the second year that the reporting requirements applied, there has been “little improvement” in the situation compared with a similar exercise it carried out last year.
The Fundraising Regulator has now updated its guidance on fundraising reporting requirements, to help charities comply with the reporting requirements.
Gerald Oppenheim, chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator, said: “Although there is still work to do to achieve compliance with the reporting requirements, it’s positive to see most charities reporting on their fundraising approach, thereby demonstrating their commitment to transparency.
“As we approach year three of these reporting requirements, I urge charities and trustees to read our guidance, not only because the law requires these areas to be reported on but, most importantly, because this gives supporters more information about charities’ fundraising activities.
“We remain committed to working with the sector to achieve comprehensive, detailed reports and our updated guidance is designed to help facilitate this.”
If you have any questions about your charity’s reporting requirements, please get in touch with our charities team.