Guest Blog: Fundraising Regulator builds on its presence in Northern Ireland

7 Dec 2022 Jocelyn Horton    Last updated: 7 Dec 2022

The Fundraising Regulator gives an overview of their work in 2022 including its commitment to strengthening its presence in Northern Ireland.

Fundraising Regulator builds on its presence in Northern Ireland

The Fundraising Regulator has continued its commitment to strengthening its presence in Northern Ireland with the appointment of a new dedicated board member for Northern Ireland, Lisa Caldwell. Lisa will work closely with Celia Currie, who has recently joined us as Stakeholder and Policy Manager for Northern Ireland.

Lisa is currently Director of External Affairs, Communications and Marketing at Belfast City Council, one of eleven Councils across Northern Ireland. She has extensive experience in regulation, marketing and communications across the private, public, and voluntary sectors.

Speaking about her new role, Lisa said:

“I look forward to joining the Fundraising Regulator as the Northern Ireland board member. My aim will be to support the progress already made, and to work with fundraising organisations and stakeholders across Northern Ireland as the Fundraising Regulator continues to deliver strong, independent regulation.”

The last year at the Fundraising Regulator

This year we published our first Strategic Plan as an established regulatory body, covering the period 2022-27. With this new five-year Strategic Plan, we intend to move into the next phase of our development, while ensuring that we continue to respond appropriately and flexibly to changes in the charitable fundraising sector. You can learn more about the plan on our website.

In October, we published our Annual Complaints Report which presents insights from our casework alongside complaints reported by a sample of the UK’s largest fundraising charities for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022. In this report we noted that fundraising activity continues to be affected by the pandemic and, while most charities have returned to in-person fundraising methods, activity has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. Find out more about this, and other key learnings from the report.

We also embarked on an exciting research project, with nfp Research, to investigate recognition of the Fundraising Badge – the logo that says ‘registered with Fundraising Regulator’. Looking out for the badge is a key part of our safer giving advice for the public, so we were keen to find out if our continued marketing of this was resulting in engagement. Our research showed 61% of respondents would be more likely to think positively of a charity showing the Fundraising Badge. We were also delighted to discover that 73% of respondents said they would be more confident in supporting a charity that displayed the badge. Find out more about the Fundraising Badge.

Looking forward

Throughout 2022-24 we are carrying out a two-year process of reviewing and updating the Code of Fundraising Practice. The code sets out the standards that apply to fundraising carried out by all charitable institutions and third-party fundraisers in the UK. This includes registered charities, exempt charities, organisations employed by charities to raise funds for them, and online fundraising platforms. The code underpins the system of voluntary self-regulation which fundraisers commit to and provides a framework for assessing public complaints.

The last code review took place in 2018/19. Since then, changes in legislation, technology and fundraising behaviour have created a context in which the code would benefit from a full review. During the current review process Celia, along with other colleagues from the regulator, will be encouraging stakeholders to have their say and to set out their views on proposed changes to the code through the consultation process. Find out more about the code review on our website.

If you have any queries about the code review or the role of the Fundraising Regulator in Northern Ireland please get in touch with Celia, who works part-time, at [email protected].

The opinions, views or comments in this article do not necessarily reflect any views or policies of NICVA.'s picture
by Jocelyn Horton

Fundraising Advice Officer

[email protected]

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