• Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel appoints new chair

    Kirsty Connell-Skinner has been unanimously elected as the new Chair of the Independent Fundraising Standards & Adjudication Panel for Scotland (the ‘Panel’).

    Effective 1st September 2021, Kirsty will take over from Valerie Armstrong-Surgenor who stepped down from the Panel as a member after five years and as Panel Chair, after more than three years.

    The Panel initiated the election process in early August and unanimously elected Kirsty to the role of Chair.

    Kirsty joined the Panel in 2018, becoming Vice Chair in November 2020. Kirsty brings a wealth of experience in philanthropic fundraising, particularly in higher education and scientific institutes, with a career to date in fundraising roles at University of Strathclyde, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and National Museums Scotland.

    She is currently Development Manager at Edinburgh Napier University, where she project manages the £6 million Housing, Construction & Infrastructure Skills Gateway, part of the Edinburgh & South-East Scotland City Region Deal. Kirsty is also an experienced charity Trustee, previously co-leading the campaign to save Gorgie City Farm in 2016 and currently as Treasurer for gender budgeting campaigners Scottish Women’s Budget Group.

    Kirsty Connell-Skinner said,

    “I am delighted to have been chosen to Chair the Panel, and I thank my fellow Panel members for their resounding support.”

    “The Panel has come a long way since 2016 and I look forward to continuing our work to support Scottish charities in delivering robust fundraising practices, as well as working with fundraising and charity regulation partners across the sector in Scotland and the UK.”

    “I would like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to our outgoing chair, Valerie Armstrong-Surgenor for her commitment and leadership of the Panel these past few years”.

    The Panel are also delighted to announce the appointment of Lesley Boyd to the Independent Fundraising Standards & Adjudication Panel for Scotland.

    Lesley is the Director of Pitch Perfect, and has over fifteen years of experience in fundraising primarily in the culture and education sector with a particular focus on major, corporate and legacy giving.

  • The Panel’s Chair stands down after over three years at the helm.

    Valerie Armstrong-Surgenor, Chair of the Scottish fundraising regulatory body, has today announced that she will be stepping down from the Independent Fundraising Standards & Adjudication Panel for Scotland (‘the Panel’) with effect from 1st September 2021. 

    Val was elected as the Panel’s chair in December 2018 after serving on the Panel since its inception in 2016 and following her time as chair of the Scottish Fundraising Implementation Group. The Scottish Fundraising Implementation Group were responsible for bringing to fruition the recommendations set out by the Scottish Fundraising Working Group to strengthen Scotland’s fundraising self-regulation.

    The Panel are currently undertaking elections for the position of Panel chair with an announcement to be made on 1st September. 

    Valerie Armstrong-Surgenor said:

    “It has been a privilege to chair the Panel for more than 3 and a half years, and I am delighted with how the Panel has developed.”

    “After more than 5 years with the Panel, I am pleased to hand over the reins and usher in the next chapter of the Panel’s development”

    “Since 2016, the Panel have gone from strength to strength. We’ve formalised processes and policies, created strong working relationships with other sector bodies; including the Fundraising Regulator, OSCR, the Chartered Institute of Fundraising and the SCVO, we’ve investigated numerous complaints and transitioned from a part-time Secretariat to a full-time Marketing and Administration Assistant for the Panel.

    “I look forward to seeing how the Panel continues to develop.” 

    Kirsty Connell-Skinner, Vice Chair of the Panel said:

    “I am sure my fellow Panel members will join me in thanking Val for her leadership and the integral role she has played which has brought the Panel to this point.” 

    “Val has played such a major part in the Panel’s development and helped foster significant progress in enhancing Scotland’s fundraising self-regulation. Her analytical business sense and unparalleled acumen in charity law will be greatly missed.”

  • 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.

  • The Panel Seeks New Members

    There are over 25,000 charities in Scotland! And the Scottish Fundraising Adjudication Panel (“the Panel”) oversees the enhanced self-regulation of fundraising for these charities.

    We’re responsible for handling complaints about the fundraising practices of Scottish registered charities and in doing so, maintaining fundraising standards in Scotland.

    As we enter our 5th year of supporting Scottish fundraising, we are looking for new volunteers to join the Panel.

    We need new members who can contribute to the Panel’s strategic thinking and are as committed and passionate about supporting the self-regulation of fundraising in Scotland as we are.

    What’s involved?

    The formal time commitments are usually:
    • Attendance at 4 Panel meetings each year (*these are currently being held online)
    • participating in engagement events throughout the year
    • contributing to policy and consultations as they arise

    It is anticipated any commitment to attend events will be limited to no more than 2 to 3 times a year.

    Please note there is no need to have charity or fundraising experience. A genuine willingness to fully participate and an ability to apply a set of standards to practice is however critical.

    How to apply?

    If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, you can find out more about the kind of people we’re looking for here and complete the application form here.

    The closing date for applications is 11:59pm on 16th July 2021.

    Interviews will take place via Microsoft Teams the week commencing 26th July 2021. It is anticipated that successful candidates will be appointed at the next meeting of the Panel on 7th September 2021.

    If you have any questions, please contact Dionne Denovan either by emailing info@goodfundraising.scot or by telephone on 0808 164 2520

  • 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

  • Marketing and Administration Assistant

    Job Title: Marketing and Administration Assistant

    Salary: £26k to £30K per annum depending on experience

    Contract: Fixed term contract to 31st March 2021; 35 hours per week

    Location: Working from home, but necessitating travel as required

    Closing Date: 23rd October 2020

    1st Interviews: w/c 2nd November 2020

    2nd Interviews: w/c 9th November 2020

    The Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel promotes compliance with the Code of Fundraising Practice and adjudicates on fundraising complaints related to Scottish registered charities. We are starting a new chapter in the Panel’s journey and are looking to appoint a full time Marketing and Administration Assistant to support the Panel.

    This challenging and exciting role involves undertaking the day-to‐day administrative and marketing duties to assist the Panel members in the work of the Panel and promotion of its activities.

    We are looking for a self-starter who is resilient, persistent and driven. You will need to be a good communicator and be able to use your own initiative.

    For more information on this post, please download the full job description.

    If you are interested in being considered for this role please complete our application form, highlighting how you believe your skills and experience fulfil the role requirements, and return it to secretariat@goodfundraising.scot to arrive no later than Friday 23rd October 2020.

    The Marketing and Administration Assistant role is hosted by the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. The Chartered Institute is an equal opportunities employer, fully committed to ensuring that the only criterion that governs matters of recruitment is merit alone.

    Please help us by completing the optional Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form and return in a separate email to secretariat@goodfundraising.scot.

  • Mis-Represented Emails

    We have become aware that an email purporting to come from the Secretariat at the Fundraising Standards Panel has been sent to a number of our known contacts via the email address you may have given to us.

    This email contains a PDF document containing a link.  Please note this email has not been sent to you by the Secretariat or anyone else at the Fundraising Standards Panel or any of its representatives.

    If you have received such an email please disregard its contents and do not respond to any requests.

    We will update this page as we progress our investigation.

  • Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel welcomes newly improved Code of Fundraising Practice

    The Independent Panel welcomes the newly improved Code of Fundraising Practice which comes into effect on October 1st 2019.

    These changes follow a consultation in autumn 2018, which focused on the style, presentation, clarity and accessibility of the current code.

    The changes, designed to make it easier for fundraisers, charities and third-party organisations to understand the standards expected of them when fundraising, introduce a new layout which sees the standards restructured into three parts, with the welcome addition of a glossary of terms and legal appendices to the code.

    There will also be greater clarification of where there are differences in law in England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The code has been written in Plain English and has been given a Crystal Mark standard.

    The existing code still applies, and complaints will continue to be considered against the version of the code in effect at the time of the incident; however the new code will be used as the basis for making decisions about any incidents that take place from October onwards.

  • We are looking for new Panel Members

    Would you like to join the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel?

    We are looking for new members to join the Panel who are committed to supporting the enhanced self-regulatory system of fundraising in Scotland and who will contribute to the Panel’s strategic thinking.

    The Panel’s core functions are:

    • to be responsible for fundraising standards in Scotland; and
    • to handle fundraising complaints related to Scottish registered charities.

    The formal time commitment would include attending 4 meetings a year, participating in engagement events throughout the year and contributing to policy and consultations as they arise. It is anticipated any commitment to attend events will be limited to no more than 2 to 3 times a year.

    The closing date for applications is midnight on Sunday 28th July 2019. It is anticipated that interviews will take place on Thursday 8th August 2019 with successful candidates being appointed at the next meeting of the Panel which will take place on 3rd September 2019. You can read the full advert and find the application form here.

    If you have any questions, please contact Katrina Bruce either by emailing info@goodfundraising.scot or by telephone on 0808 164 2520.