Fundraising in the charitable sector inquiry launched

21 July 2015

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee is holding an inquiry to look at call centres raising funds for charities.


Serious concerns have been raised about call centres contracted by charities to raise funds. The Government has announced that it will include measures to address this in the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill currently going through Parliament. The Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson MP, has also asked Sir Stuart Etherington to carry out a review of the current system of regulating fundraising.

Inquiry focus

The inquiry will focus on four key areas:

  • the extent and nature of practices adopted by call centres raising funds for charities and the impact on members of the public, particularly vulnerable people
  • the Government’s recently proposed legislative changes on this issue
  • how charities came to adopt these methods, and how they maintained proper governance over what was being done on their behalf
  • the leadership of charities and how their values are reflected in their actions and activities.

Written submissions

The deadline for submissions is midday on Wednesday 26 August 2015. An evidence session will be held in early September.

Questions to consider

Extent of poor fundraising practices and impact on members of the public

  • How extensive is the problem of poor practice in fundraising for charities? What kind of techniques have been employed and how widely?
  • How many people have been affected by questionable fundraising techniques and to what extent? Have some groups been more affected than others?
  • How much is raised by charities by private contractors? What percentage of money raised by private contractors is retained by them? What is the nature of the contracts between charities and the private contractors?

Government’s proposed legislative changes

  • What will be the effect of the Government’s proposed legislative changes in the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill on this issue? How effective will these changes be?
  • Do the Government’s legislative proposals go far enough or is further action required? If so, what further action should be taken?
  • How should charities themselves address the issues which have been exposed?

Charities’ values and interaction with the public

  • What issues in the leadership of charities arising from these revelations do they need to address?
  • How can charity trustees and leaders best ensure that the values they intend to uphold are reflected throughout the organisation and activity, including those whom they contract with?
  • What lessons should trustees, managers and staff throughout charitable organisations play in achieving this goal?

Send a written submission

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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