How we regulate charities

We run the UK’s independent regulatory scheme for fundraising. We work to ensure that charities and fundraising suppliers are accountable for how they fundraise. We use self-regulation and auditing to ensure our members follow the standards.

As part of our role as the independent self-regulator for fundraising in the UK, we regulate fundraising practice against industry standards, the Institute of Fundraising’s Code of Fundraising Practice. We also monitor and help resolve complaints about charity fundraising. Our self-regulatory scheme commits charities and suppliers to best practice in fundraising and to being honest, legal, open, respectful and accountable at all times.

We do this by:

  • being a focus for public feedback; listening to and dealing with their concerns about fundraising
  • using public feedback to inform and strengthen fundraising standards
  • encouraging the sector to listen to public concerns and act to improve their fundraising
  • ensuring that fundraising organisations adhere to best practice and are legal, honest, open and respectful when fundraising.

We use two methods to ensure our members are following the standards:

Self-regulation

Self-regulation is all about the charitable sector working together to improve fundraising standards, and maintain public trust and confidence.

Our members follow the Institute of Fundraising’s Code of Fundraising Practice and use the FRSB’s Fundraising Promise to ensure the public get the best experience.

We and our members listen to complaints and concerns from the public and learn from them. This helps us to keep improving standards.

Find out more about self-regulation. 

Auditing charities and suppliers

To give the public confidence in self-regulation, the FRSB proactively monitors members to ensure they meet their obligations. The formal audit programme means the public can be confident that our members are being adequately monitored and regulated.

The FRSB audit programme focuses on the six self-regulatory obligations, as laid out in the scheme’s terms and conditions. They are:

  • compliance with IOF’s Code of Fundraising Practice (the Code)
  • completion of an Annual Complaints Return each year
  • having an easily accessible complaints process which references the FRSB
  • the promotion of the Fundraising Promise
  • the use of the scheme tick logo
  • designating a first point of contact (complaints co-ordinator) with whom the FRSB can discuss all complaint-related matters.

We aim to ensure that every FRSB member has been audited against all six of its obligations at least once every five years.

Some of this work happens on an ongoing basis, such as our complaints monitoring and resolution services.

The audit programme was formally started at the end of June 2013.