• Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel marks 5 years of fundraising regulation

    2021 marks the fifth year of the Independent Fundraising Standards & Adjudication Panel for Scotland’s (or “the Panel”) inception. Panel Chair, Val Armstrong-Surgenor reflects on the Panel’s activities and achievements.

    My involvement with the Panel began when I chaired the Scottish Fundraising Implementation Group, who were tasked with bringing to life the recommendations set out by the Scottish Fundraising Working Group. On the Panel’s launch, I served as a Panel member before becoming Chair in 2018.

    Over the past five years since the Panel was introduced, we have supported Scotland’s system of enhanced self-regulation to grow confidence in charity fundraising; inspire public trust and actively promote good fundraising.

    A brief history

    The Panel was born from a review into the effectiveness of the self-regulation of fundraising in Scotland carried out by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO). The aim was to identify whether the then current system of fundraising self-regulation was adequate.

    After consultation with the third sector and the public, the Scottish Fundraising Working Group recommended that Fundraising in Scotland should adopt a model of enhanced self-regulation. It was agreed that Scottish Charities and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) would have an enhanced role in fundraising regulation coupled with the creation of an Independent Panel which would oversee complaints relating to fundraising practices amongst the Scottish charity sector.

    How we work

    The Panel’s core functions are:

    • Fundraising complaints

    Where a breach of the Code of Fundraising Practice is adjudicated by the Panel, we will make recommendations to improve the charity’s processes or practices.

    • Fundraising standards in Scotland

    The fundraising standards that apply to charities and fundraisers are set out in the Code of Fundraising Practice, which is maintained by the Fundraising Regulator. The Panel work with charities and the third sector to ensure that the standards of fundraising in Scotland are upheld.

    To further strengthen this, the Panel introduced the Good Fundraising Guarantee to enable Scottish charities to demonstrate their commitment to fundraising in a legal, open, honest and respectful manner.

    Looking forward

    The Panel has developed close working relationships with the Fundraising Regulator, the Chartered Institute of Fundraising in Scotland, OSCR, SCVO and the Third Sector Unit of Scottish Government. As the Panel moves into its next five years’ we hope to continue to build on those relationships as we work towards greater visibility of our role and function across Scotland.

    A rebrand (to be launched very soon) will see us focus more on the promotion to the public of what we do to increase our engagement with the public more generally and we look forward to working more closely with Scottish charities, of all sizes, to improve fundraising standards.

  • News round up from your Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel


    With the Scottish Parliamentary elections fast approaching, the SCVO hosted a virtual National Hustings on 8th April 2021. Hosted by Scottish political expert and journalist Brian Taylor, SCVO Chief Executive, Anna Fowlie was joined by the leaders of the main Scottish political parties.

    More than 80 questions were submitted for the online session, with an audience of over 200 representatives from the sector attending.

    Discussions centred around funding for the sector, and local government, the efforts of the sector during Covid-19, and the role the third sector plays in supporting society’s recovery. The leaders also discussed what they had learned about the sector from the coronavirus crisis and what role they see the third sector playing in the upcoming COP26 environmental summit in Glasgow this year, and in responding to the climate emergency.

    A recording of the Hustings is available here: https://youtu.be/-UJxD83e_v4

    To read SCVO’s Head of Policy, Kirsten Hogg’s blog reflecting on the SCVO hustings please visit: https://scvo.scot/p/42990/2021/04/09/scvo-national-hustings


    OSCR recently released the full results of their November 2020 survey to help garner understanding of the challenges charities are currently facing.  In a blog Chief Executive, Maureen Mallon reflected on the research findings and the challenges facing charities from the impact of COVID-19 on Scottish charities.

    Some key findings of OSCR’s November research:

    • Small charities are more likely to have stopped operating than larger charities.
    • Larger charities are more likely to have suspended some of their operations.
    • Larger charities and those supporting older people, people with disabilities and people with mental health issues had their services most disrupted.
    • Four out of five (79%) charities who receive income from donations and fundraising have seen a decrease in income.
    • Over four out of five charities which relied on trading income have reported a decrease in this type of income over the pandemic

    To read OSCR’s blog in full please visit: https://www.oscr.org.uk/blog/2021/march/16/research-shows-covid-challenges-for-scottish-charities/


    The Law Family Commission on Civil Society is a two-year research and policy programme established by Pro Bono Economics. The Law Family Commission on Civil Society as an ambitious programme of ground-breaking research into how the potential of civil society can be unleashed.  

    This call for evidence is an opportunity to identify and harness the potential of the public, private and social sectors to work together to achieve their full potential for social good and inclusive growth. The evidence will shape the Commission’s priorities and contribute to research content produced over the course of the Commission’s life cycle.

    The call for evidence is open until 10 May 2021.

    To read more and submit a response please visit: https://civilsocietycommission.org/call-for-evidence-the-potential-of-civil-society/


    Fundraising Guarantee logo

    255 charities have now joined the Panel’s Fundraising Guarantee to make a positive statement about the values, culture and practices of charities and outline how the public can expect to be treated by fundraisers and charities.

    Welcome to Girvan Youth Trust, Govanhill Baths Community Trust, Launch It Trust Dundee, Polbeth Community HUB SCIO, Kirkcaldy Community Radio SCIO, and Radio West Fife (SCIO), Four Pillars, Edinburgh Napier University Development Trust, CREATE Paisley, Cornerstone, DeafAction, Cheviot Youth, Friends at the End SCIO, Covid:aid, The Salvesen Mindroom Centre, Strathmore Community Rugby Trust, Banchory Gymnastics Club SCIO, the Forget Me Not Club, Hope Counselling Dundee, and Homeless Project Scotland  as our newest members of the Guarantee.

    You can learn more about the Fundraising Guarantee here: www.goodfundraising.scot/fundraising-guarantee/

  • The Latest Highlights from your Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel

    Who can believe we’ve completed a full month of 2021? As we enter February, the Panel thought we would take this opportunity to highlight some news.

    The Panel continues to work closely with OSCR, SCVO, the Fundraising Regulator and the Chartered Institute of Fundraising to champion the sector and uphold the fundraising standards that the people of Scotland expect charitable organisations to meet.

    The Panel appoint Marketing and Administration Assistant

    After advertising for the position of Marketing and Administration Assistant, the Panel were pleased to welcome Dionne Denovan on-board.

    Dionne brings with her several years of experience with both Scottish and National charities in a range of Marketing, Communications and Fundraising roles.

    Dionne will work with the Panel to provide administrative and marketing support and promote the Panel’s activities as we start a new chapter in our journey.

    Dionne said, “I am so pleased to have joined the Panel and to be a part of this exciting stage of the Panel’s development. I have always felt at home amongst the fundraising community in Scotland and I look forward to the part this role will play in future.”

    Fundraising Guarantee

    236 charities have now joined the Panel’s Fundraising Guarantee to make a positive statement about the values, culture and practices of charities and outline how the public can expect to be treated by fundraisers and charities.

    Fundraising Guarantee logo

    This month we welcome Love Po, Fife Gingerbread, Can-Do, and Girvan Youth Trust as our newest members of the Guarantee.

    You can learn more about the Fundraising Guarantee here: www.goodfundraising.scot/fundraising-guarantee/

    Complaints Process Webinar

    As part of the Fundraising Regulator’s commitment to support organisations in meeting the standards set out in the Code of Fundraising Practice, they produced a webinar on handling complaints. We were pleased to feature and continue working collaboratively with the Fundraising Regulator to demonstrate our united commitment to best practice in fundraising.

    The webinar was produced help raise understanding of how charities should: manage complaints received about fundraising, monitor the complaints handling of third-party fundraisers and use learning from complaints to inform future fundraising activity.

    You can view the Webinar here: www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/more-from-us/resources/webinar-handling-complaints

    And learn more about fundraising regulation in the UK here: www.goodfundraising.scot/fundraising-regulation-in-the-uk/

    Wellbeing in Fundraising

    The Chartered Institute of Fundraising have produced several helpful new resources on fundraising wellbeing for those working in the third sector. The resources offer guidance on looking after your wellbeing and supporting that of your peers’ as the pandemic continues to affect every aspect of our lives.

    Charities are more in demand than ever and fundraising across the sector has been adversely impacted by the ongoing pandemic increasing pressure on both the charity in the broadest sense possible and their fundraisers.

    Looking after and supporting the wellbeing of fundraisers is crucial to the sector being able to deliver their charitable objectives.

    The resources include:

    • Wellbeing and COVID-19
    • Wellbeing during the pandemic
    • Understanding fundraising and wellbeing
    • Issues impacting the wellbeing of fundraisers
    • Wellbeing and resilience
    • Wellbeing and employment
    • Managing pressure
    • Tips for fundraisers
    • Tips for fundraising managers

    You can read this information here: www.ciof.org.uk/wellbeing