Almost all – 98% – of charities spending £100,000 or more a year on their fundraising activities paid the Fundraising Levy last year, the Fundraising Regulator has announced.
The voluntary levy is for charities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with the regulator’s year running from 1 September 2021 – 31 August 2022.
Charities outside the levy can also register with the regulator by paying an administrative fee, and last year saw a 14% increase in the overall number of registrants, rising to nearly 5,700. This was particularly noticeable amongst smaller charities, with 3,533 total registrations of organisations spending less than £100,000 on their fundraising – marking a 24% increase on the previous year.
The regulator’s annual report also notes that its complaints caseload saw a 26% increase on the pre-pandemic year of 2019-20, and that it is dealing with an increasing number of complex cases. In 2021/22, it had 1,056 incoming cases, up from 1,035 cases in 2020/21, and 836 in 2019/20.
The report also reveals that awareness of the regulator has grown, to 1 in 5 members of the public from 1 in 10 in 2019, and that there was a 10% increase in the volume of Fundraising Preference Service suppressions compared to 2020/21, to over 6,000.
Last year saw changes made to the FPS following an independent review, including an increase to the total number of charities that can be suppressed in a single online transaction from three to ten, and a new option to use the service on behalf of someone who has died.
Lord Toby Harris, Chair of the Fundraising Regulator, said:
“This year continued to pose challenges for the charitable fundraising sector with the coronavirus pandemic, Ukraine conflict and cost of living pressures affecting the fundraising landscape. I commend the generosity of the British public and diligence of charities who have worked hard to maintain excellent standards whilst raising funds in this changing climate.
“As a regulator, our primary role is to protect the public. So it is encouraging to see an increasing public awareness of our work alongside a rising number of charities committing to legal, open, honest and respectful fundraising by registering with us. We look forward to further developing our proactive approach to regulation, so the public has confidence and trust in fundraising, and charitable fundraising can thrive.”