SCVO media release
7 July 2016

A new free-phone fundraising complaints line and website has gone live to assist members of the public wishing to make a complaint about charity fundraising in Scotland.

Scottish Fundraising Complaints, which has been set up by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Scottish charity regulator OSCR, will give people all the information they need to resolve any concerns about a charity’s fundraising practices and help to maintain trust and confidence in Scotland’s fundraising charities.

The new complaints hub is an important element of a new, enhanced, model for charity fundraising regulation in Scotland which will see more responsibility placed on charities and the Scottish charity regulator, OSCR, to encourage good practice.

Members of the public concerned about the fundraising tactics of a charity in Scotland, should call Scottish Fundraising Complaints on 0808 164 2520, visit fundraisingcomplaints.scot or email [email protected].

Martin Sime, Chief Executive, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, said:

“This new phone and email service will make it easier for members of the public to complain about charity fundraising by helping them find the right place to raise their fundraising complaint and get it resolved. It coincides with the launch of a whole new chapter in the story of fundraising standards and the need for our sector to nurture public trust and confidence in what we do.”

OSCR’s Chief Executive, David Robb, said:

“Donors and charities have a shared interest in sustainable, ethical fundraising practices. We are pleased to have contributed to the new partnership approach that reflects the views of the sector in Scotland, and welcome today’s announcement of the new complaints hub and dedicated telephone number. We will continue to support the developing arrangements for Scotland and while our experience is that charities generally raise funds responsibly, this new framework will support the public’s continuing confidence in charities and their vital work.”

Communities Secretary Angela Constance said:

“Most charities in Scotland operate to high standards and do a valuable job, for which we as a country are very grateful. However, Scotland’s charities benefit from a great deal of public trust and it’s important that that confidence is maintained.

“This new phone number and website will be run by Scottish Fundraising Complaints – set up by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Scottish charity regulator OSCR – and will give people information about how to raise any concerns they may have.

“In relation to cross border charities, we will follow a ‘lead’ regulator model – as used by OSCR and the Charity Commission – for charities with headquarters in England and Wales but which fundraise in Scotland, who will comply with the Scottish regulatory system but will be regulated by the Fundraising Regulator.

“This move follows extensive consultation with the third sector and the public and I’m confident it will keep public trust in our charities at the high level they deserve to be.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland’s charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. The Scottish third sector turns over £4.5 billion a year and employs 138,000 people in over 45,000 organisations. For more on SCVO see www.scvo.org.uk

2. The Scottish Charity Regulator is the independent registrar and regulator of Scotland’s 23,800 charities

3. Scottish Fundraising Complaints website and phone line has been established by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Scottish Charity Regulator, OSCR. It follows extensive consultation with charities and members of the public in Scotland

4. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, it is the new Fundraising Regulator which will oversee the standard for fundraising and deals with complaints about charity fundraising. Most complaints about UK-wide charities (registered with both OSCR and the Charity Commission for England and Wales) will be dealt with by the new Fundraising Regulator

5. For media queries, please call Charlotte McNeill at SCVO on 07790 601 995.