Nearly a third of charities have yet to pay The Fundraising Regulator’s levy, according to Lord Grade when he spoke at the Annual Fundraising Conference.
The Fundraising Regulator, based in CAN Mezzanine, Old Street, introduced the levy in 2015 in response to the negative portrayal of charities’ fundraising efforts. This voluntary payment applies to all charities spending more than £100,000 a year on fundraising and the payment charge is based on the amount raised, with ten banded thresholds in place. Funds raised by the levy go towards improving fundraising practices.
Due to the voluntary nature of the agreement, the Government has no power to enforce the levy. However, Lord Grade said that the regulator would be reviewing the situation in the next few months and may make payment of the levy obligatory if not enough charities contribute.
Currently, 1300 of about 1900 charities have paid or are committed to paying, but the regulator is speaking with a small number of large, high profile charities to get their buy-in. Smaller charities have shown an unwillingness to enter into the levy by not entering into a discussion or had refused on principle.
Lord Grade said, "The voluntary levy was a central proposition of the Etherington review, which was accepted by the government. Paying the levy is not just a simple financial transaction, enabling us to operate effectively, it demonstrates commitment to the cultural change in fundraising highlighted as essential in the Etherington review.”
He also added, "I hardly need to point out that the regulation of charities that decline to pay the levy is in effect being subsidised by those that do. This is not right, nor is it the basis on which the government agreed to give voluntary regulation a chance."