Background & purpose

What’s the Panel’s purpose?

We are established for the purposes of overseeing enhanced self-regulation of fundraising in Scotland, to be responsible for fundraising standards in Scotland and to handle fundraising complaints related to Scottish registered charities. Our core functions are:

(i) to oversee fundraising standards in Scotland; and
(ii) to oversee fundraising complaints.

You can read more about this in our Terms of Reference


Who does the Panel regulate?

We deal with fundraising complaints relating to Scottish registered charities. A list of all the charities in Scotland can be found on the Scottish Charity Regulator’s (OSCR) online register. For charities registered in England and Wales, the Fundraising Regulator will deal with these complaints. The Charity Commission for England and Wales (CCEW) holds an online register of charities registered there.

For charities that are registered in both Scotland with OSCR and England and Wales with CCEW, the lead regulator model is applied. This is the model used by both charity regulators.

So, this means that if a charity’s lead regulator is CCEW then any fundraising complaints will be dealt with by the Fundraising Regulator, and if a charity’s lead regulator is OSCR then any fundraising complaints will be dealt with by us.

For more information about regulation in other parts of the UK, please visit Fundraising regulation in the UK


How is the Panel funded?

We are funded by the Scottish Government which supports the approach being taken in Scotland to develop a system of self-regulation. They are working with us, OSCR, SCVO and the wider Fundraising system to monitor arrangements over the first year to best determine future approach.


Why was the Panel created?

Click through each section of the timeline to find out more information about the Panel and why it was created

  • August 2015
    The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) published their fundraising review, The effectiveness of the self-regulation of fundraising in Scotland with twelve recommendations made. This report aimed to identify whether the Scottish public, Scottish Government and (Scottish) Parliament could have confidence that the current system of charity fundraising self-regulation was working and, if not, recommend how it could be strengthened in Scotland.
  • September 2015
    The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) published their fundraising review, The Etherington Review which made a number of recommendations for fundraising regulation in England and Wales.
  • November 2015

    After both reviews were published, the SCVO held a summit of 150 people from across the third sector to discuss the future of fundraising self-regulation in Scotland. A working group, the Scottish Fundraising Working Group, was established to:

    1. Produce an options appraisal for the three main approaches to self-regulation which can be used as an engagement tool by the sector.
    2. Produce an engagement plan for involving the sector and gathering views.
    3. Develop a final decision making process that is transparent and has legitimacy.

    Their report was published shortly after: Designing the Self-Regulation of Fundraising in Scotland – Summit report

  • June 2016

    The Scottish Fundraising Working Group published their report, Clear, confident and connected: An enhanced system of charity fundraising regulation for Scotland which developed three potential regulatory models:

    Option 1: A UK-wide Fundraising Regulator acts as intermediary between the public and charities, hosting the standards for fundraising and promoting compliance with them.
    Option 2: A new Scottish Fundraising Regulator acts as intermediary as above.
    Option 3: No intermediary: charities and OSCR both have an enhanced role in regulating fundraising.

    Extensive consultation with the third sector and public took place. This began at SCVO’s Gathering event in February 2016, an online consultation that received 500 responses from people and organisations, 17 round-table consultation events held with charities and 3 focus groups with the Scottish public. Option 3 had the most support overall and was seen by charities to be sensitive to the charity environment in Scotland and to utilise a successful relationship with OSCR.

    The Scottish Fundraising Working Group made a number of recommendations to Option 3 including the creation of an Independent Panel. The Scottish Fundraising Implementation Group took these recommendations forward and began work to establish the Panel.

  • July 2016
    The SCVO Complaints Hub was established and the Fundraising Regulator for England and Wales was formally established.
  • December 2016
    The Scottish Fundraising Implementation Group announced the Panel members. You can read more about the Panel members here.