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Five Fact Friday - Charity

Five Fact Friday - Charity

With more and more people being furloughed due to the Covid-19 outbreak, charities are reporting a rapid increase in volunteers as people look to keep themselves busy. 

Back in January 2020, the Fundraising Regulator published its ‘Good Practice Guidance on Reporting your Fundraising’.  Here, we take a look at some of the key aspects of that guidance along with other charity related facts. 

We also pay homage to Oscar Wilde as today marks the 125th anniversary of the start of his trial for libel, which eventually led to his imprisonment on charges of homosexuality.

  1. “Charity creates a multitude of sins”

The Fundraising Regulator was formed in 2016 to take over the functions previously performed by the Fundraising Standards Board which was itself formed in 2007 following the prescription for the establishment of a new self-regulatory framework for charity fundraising in the Charities Act 2006.  The Fundraising Regulator’s task is to regulate fundraising practice against industry standards, monitor complaints about charity fundraising and resolve issues that might arise between charities and the public.  These functions extend to England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

  1. “Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes”

Under the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016, charities are required to provide a statement of fundraising in their annual reports.  However, the Fundraising Regulator has estimated that only around 40% of charities have properly complied with this requirement by either failing to provide enough information about how their campaigns are run and managed, failing to demonstrate how they use the Code of Fundraising Practice to guide their work, failing to describe thoroughly any fundraising activities carried out on their behalf by third parties, failing to detail complaints, or failing to explain how they protect vulnerable people from unreasonable intrusion on their privacy.  These failures have led to ‘Good Practice Guidance on Reporting your Fundraising’ being published at the beginning of 2020.

  1. “The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on”

The ‘Good Practice Guidance on Reporting your Fundraising’ includes practical information on what should be in the fundraising statement.  It also includes examples of fully compliant fundraising statements, sets out what the Charity Commission expects of charities and sets out what auditors and independent examiners can do for charities.

  1. “Questions are never indiscreet, answers sometimes are”

There are six statements that must be included by any charity that is required to have its accounts audited in its annual report to trustees.  These are on the following:-

  1. the charities approach to its own fundraising activities and any fundraising activities done on its behalf;
  2. if applicable, confirmation that the charity has registered with Fundraising Regulator and complies with Code of Fundraising Practice or any other suitable scheme or standard;
  3. whether or not the charity has complied with aforementioned scheme or standard;
  4. whether or not the charity has monitored fundraising activities undertaken on its behalf by other and, if so, how those activities were monitored;
  5. the specific number of complaints received by the charity or anyone working on its behalf, about its fundraising activities; and
  6. what the charity has done to protect vulnerable people and the wider public from certain unreasonable behaviour.


  1. “Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals”

The charity sector may seem niche to some, but it is, in fact, one of the largest in the UK.  As of 2018, over 860,000 were employed by charities and its workforce has grown by 11% in the last 10 years.  It is estimated that over 20 million people per year volunteer for or on behalf of a charity in one way or another every year.  There are around 166,000 registered charities in the UK and between them they have an annual turnover of nearly £48billion. 

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