On 14 July the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) released details of a new fundraising training programme for small charities where they can “sign up for a range of free and low cost training opportunities”.

The service, being run by the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI), aims to deliver over 4,000 “learning opportunities” up to March 2018, with 2,571 of these made possible by the DCMS programme.

Included in the programme is a range of opportunities from 30 minute webinars and online videos through to face to face workshops and training courses available in 17 different locations across the county. The programme includes subjects such as ‘fundraising strategy’, ‘corporate relationships’, ‘crowdfunding and online fundraising’ and ‘managing volunteers’.

The programmes are available for FSI members. Registered charities, Community Interest Companies (CIC) or community organisations with an annual turnover of less than £1.5m are eligible to become a member of the FSI for free. The courses are available for larger charities, however charges may apply.

Will Hanbury, Partner and Charity specialist at Bishop Fleming commented:

“We welcome the announcement from the DCMS and it is encouraging to see investment by the government into the charity sector.  This could provide valuable support for smaller charities who may struggle to raise additional funds in the challenging current economic climate.

The web based approach as well as courses in locations from Plymouth to Glasgow should mean that a broad range of smaller charities will have the opportunity to access the programme”.

You can find out more and sign up on the FSI website.

Fundraising Preference Service (FPS)

The availability of additional training and courses is particularly timely as the Fundraising Regulator (FR) aims to crack down on what it calls ‘aggressive’ fundraising methods employed by fundraisers. The Fundraising Preference Services is an online facility which allows individuals to tailor the communications they wish to receive from charities.

Charities’ practices are increasingly under scrutiny and therefore it is important that organisations carefully consider their systems and strategies for raising funds.

Charities found to be using ‘aggressive’ fundraising methods could be fined up to £25,000 by the FR which lists the following complaints:

  • Misleading or excessive requests for money;
  • Misleading or unreasonable engagement with a donor once their support has been gained;
  • Working with a third party to raise funds where the relationship is not ‘sufficiently clear’;
  • Insufficient complaints process; and
  • Ignoring individuals contact preferences.

Full details of the Fundraising Preference Service can be found here.

It is vital that charities maintain public trust and confidence and therefore focusing on the charities objectives and public benefit is encouraged to increase public support.

For further information on any of the above topics please feel free to contact your local Bishop Fleming advisor.

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