Thursday, 23 June 2016

Fundraising Regulator will ask charities to pay up to £10,000 a year

Make sure your views are heard !

The regulator has invited submission “in writing by not later than Friday 22 July 2016” to be sent either by email or by post. 

The Fundraising Regulator has today published a discussion paper on its the levy and registration fees, which will see charities pay up to £10,000 a year, with small charities paying proportionately more than large ones.
The regulator proposes eight tiers of payments for charities, depending on their size, ranging from £10,000 for charities with an annual fundraising spend of over £20m, to £250 for charities spending between £100,000 and £150,000 a year.
The levy being proposed by the regulator will require the smallest charities to pay six times as much as the largest ones, as a proportion of their total expenditure.
In a statement released today, the regulator said “stakeholder views are sought on the levy threshold, levy calculation method, proposed levy bandings and its initial period of duration. The new regulator proposes scaled levy payments based on charities level of expenditure on fundraising activity”.
Speaking to Civil Society Media last week, Gerald Oppenheim, director of policy at the Fundraising Regulator, discussed the proposals and the coming discussion paper.
He said that “around 2,000 charities, perhaps just below” would be taken in by the proposed £100,000 levy threshold. He said the regulator was getting this information from the annual returns and reports made to the Charity Commission for the year ending 31 December 2014.
The banded levy would give the Fundraising Regulator an annual budget of “up to £2.5m” from the “1,961” charities that would pay it, as set out in the discussion paper.
The discussion paper proposes that the levy will be set for “2 years and 8 months” from its launch date of 1 August 2016 to the 31 March 2019, in order to allow “both charities and the Fundraising Regulator to plan financially with some certainty”.
Oppenheim said that there would be scope for some charities, who in the last 12 months had found themselves spending £100,000 on fundraising “due to a large bequest, or some other extraordinary financial windfall” who would normally fall outside the threshold, would be able to discuss exemption from the levy with the regulator.
The regulator also proposes that “non-payment [of the levy] may result in the Fundraising Regulator’s decision to publish a list of charities that have not paid” and could “also have the effect of increasing payments that those paying the levy are asked to contribute”.
Oppenheim also said the regulator would propose registration payments for smaller charities and “even non-fundraising charities who are keen to be part of best practice” of around £50 a year.
He said that fundraising agencies would also be able to register with the regulator and that the proposed registration fee for agencies would be around £250.
Registering charities will “be required to agree to a set of agreed terms and conditions about their commitment to the Code of Fundraising Practice”, according to the discussion paper. Once registered, charities will “be able to use a Fundraising Regulator ‘badge’ that will say they are registered with the Fundraising Regulator on their websites and in all printed materials”.
He said that the regulator would not be able to start processing registrations until “at least September or October 2016” due to the need to upgrade the organisation’s current website to allow such a function.
The paper asks for the sector’s “views on the propositions made in the discussion paper”, including whether the £100,000 threshold is the right one for the levy; Whether the proposed “banding” system for the levy is appropriate; and whether or not the proposed “flat rate charges” for membership are correct.
The regulator has invited submission “in writing by not later than Friday 22 July 2016” to be sent either by email or by post.

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