Promoting Public Trust in Fundraising

We were pleased to catch up with Dionne Denovan recently from the Scottish Fundraising Adjudication Panel and learn how the Panel’s work can inspire better fundraising for charities in Glasgow.

Thank you, Dionne, for your helpful information and advice, which we’re delighted to share below:

We know that public trust is so important for successful charitable fundraising. How can the Panel help?

The Panel works alongside sector bodies including OSCR, the Fundraising Regulator and charities to oversee enhanced self-regulation of fundraising in Scotland. We are responsible for upholding fundraising standards and we handle fundraising complaints related to Scottish registered charities.

How can charities fundraise better and boost public confidence?

A great way to attract donations is by making a public commitment to good fundraising practice. The Code of Fundraising Practice sets out the rules on all types of charitable fundraising to ensure activities are legal, open, honest and respectful. The Code is essential reading for anyone responsible for fundraising.

Scottish charities can make a clear statement about their fundraising values, culture, and practices by contacting the Panel to register for the Good Fundraising Guarantee. This is a great way to show supporters how they can expect to be treated by the charity and its fundraisers. Registration is free and we have a great logo available for charities to display.

What happens when things go wrong? How does the Panel handle complaints?

The Panel aims to resolve and adjudicate issues that may arise between charities and members of the public without the need for statutory intervention. We provide an impartial, transparent and objective service to benefit everyone.

The fundraising complaints process has three stages,

  1. Complain to the charity: We advise that all complaints should be raised directly with the charity in the first instance.
  2. Complain to the charity trustees: If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of stage one, they should then appeal to the charity’s trustees.
  3. Complain to the Panel: If the charity and their trustees are unable to resolve the complaint, it can be referred to the Panel for adjudication. We evaluate whether the charity has breached the Code of Fundraising Practice. Where a breach is found to have taken place, we will provide recommendations and remedies with a view to improving and strengthening the fundraising practices of the charity. We aim to reach a constructive resolution for all parties concerned.

What does this mean for small volunteer-run charities with limited resources?

Whatever the size of organisation, charity Trustees have collective legal responsibility for their charity’s affairs, including fundraising activities. The following resources offer helpful advice:

As the Code of Fundraising Practice is influenced by voluntary self-regulation, it is important that small charities include their voice. The content of the Code is currently under review and anyone involved in charitable fundraising is invited to take part in the consultation.

Please share your views on the proposals and help ensure the updated version remains effective and relevant for the future. Respond before 1 December 2023 at: fundraisingregulator.org.uk/code-consultation-2023

How can we contact the Panel to find out more?

Visit the website goodfundraising.scot, call 0808 164 2520 or email info@goodfundraising.scot

Meet the team in-person at The Gathering on 7 & 8 November 2023 in Edinburgh: scvo.scot/the-gathering

Scottish Fundraising Adjudication panel logo

Thanks again to Dionne Denovan, Marketing & Casework Coordinator at the Scottish Fundraising Adjudication Panel.


If you are a voluntary organisation in Glasgow and would like some support with your fundraising, visit our webpage on Funding and Fundraising or contact our funding advice officer June at june.burgess@gcvs.org.uk.

For more articles on funding and fundraising please read our blog.

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