Mandy Johnson, Chief Executive of the Small Charities Coalition, has hit back at the Fundraising Regulator's approach to charities who have not paid its levy.
I discussed the Fundraising Regulator's approach in my blog yesterday (http://insights.brabners.com/post/102ee1w/the-fundraising-regulators-levy-8-days-and-counting).
Mandy Johnson makes some very good points. The Fundraising Regulator's measure for establishing whether a charity should pay the levy relates to a charity's 'spend on generating voluntary income'. Where that figure is £100,000 or more the levy will be charged. However, it is based on accounting figures for the year ended 31 December 2014. A lot may have changed in over years.
It is also interesting (and perhaps a little surprising) to read that many charities have not heard of the Fundraising Regulator - we have tried to raise awareness amongst clients and others but clearly the Regulator has more to do. I have found the Fundraising Regulator's initial communications to be a little unusual - the first time I received a request for payment of the levy for a client we act for I thought, due to the format and layout of the e-mail, that it was a scam. Maybe others have thought the same and have disregarded the communications.
Whether Mandy Johnson's comments impact upon the Fundraising Regulator's intention to name and shame at the end of the month remains to be seen. However, as noted in my last blog, charities who do not intend to pay should perhaps consider articulating their reasons so as to lessen any negative press that they might receive.
Based on current fundraising spend, Meera should not have been contacted by the Regulator at all. Yet her charity is now at risk of being named and shamed and Lord Grade is categorising her as “unprofessional” for not paying a voluntary levy that should not apply to her organisation. Out of date data would be difficult to justify at the best of times, but is particularly inappropriate given that over the last five years small charities have seen significant funding cuts, and volatility in income, which have led to many of them changing their fundraising practices.