Digital fundraising platform joins Fundraising Regulator

The Good Exchange is the latest cloud fundraising platform to come forward to register with the Regulator before the end of August deadline.

Chloe Green | 23rd Aug 18
Image shows a donation box next to a computer. The Fundraising Regulator is cracking down on online platforms and could soon bring them under statutory regulation.

Cloud-based fundraising platform The Good Exchange has become the latest to be registered with the UK Fundraising Regulator.

The UK Fundraising Regulator exists to keep charitable organisations in check. But they are on a push to get digital giving platforms to join them in a bid to recognise and regulate the variety of new digital fundraising means now available to the public.

Over the last few years a number of concerns have been raised in the media and by parliamentarians about online giving, including possible fraudulent activity, oversight over the end-use of funds, and transparency about fees charged by sites. Recent events including terrorist attacks in Manchester and London and the Grenfell Tower fire have heightened these concerns given the large amount of money raised for victims on these platforms in a short amount of time.

In June this year, the Regulator reviewed its Code of Practice, publishing new rules requiring online platforms such as the Good Exchange to be open and transparent with users, take reasonable steps to treat donors fairly, and ensure donors know their rights in the event of a problem.

 

Building trust in online platforms

The Regulator said it hopes that the new rules in the Code will enable online fundraising to continue to grow by increasing public in fundraising platforms.

However, while twenty online fundraising organisations, including Virgin Money Giving, PayPal Giving Fund, JustGiving and Go Fund Me intitially consulted with the Regulator, only four of these organisations so far have come forward to register with the Regulator as third party agencies.

The Regulator has said that platforms that have not voluntarily registered with it by the end of August (in one week) could face statutory regulation.

Speaking at the Fundraising Regulator’s annual general meeting in London on the 18th July, Lord Michael Grade of Yarmouth said the use of online fundraising platforms is “an issue that has gained quite considerable parliamentary attention of late. This is a growing source of funding for the sector, and is popular with the public, but it is one where regulation is needed.”

“I hope the platforms will support our regulation and sign up by the end of August, as some already have. The government has made clear in statements over the last week that statutory regulation could well follow if they do not.”

In February, UKFundraising published a guide to some of the best online giving platforms and alternatives that do not charge excessive fees to donors and help charities get the maximum amount from donations.