London calling…

I spent three days in London last week at the UK Institute of Fundraising’s annual convention. Overall, I found the quality of the speakers and the content of the presentations to be of very high quality.

A major topic of discussion was how charities in the UK have been able to deal effectively with the impact that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), introduced in 2018, has had on their fundraising. Charities have approached the new regulation in different ways and it was interesting to hear their various approaches. Generally, the view was that the GDPR has forced them to reconsider carefully their engagement strategies with donors and supporters, and focus on quality interactions over quantity.

I also found several sessions covered ways to engage younger donors, using digital and social tools and gaming. This included live-streaming of gaming and other activities to garner support for their causes – exciting times ahead!    

Lights, camera, action!  I took part in a short video on ethical fundraising with the Institute of Fundraising’s CEO Peter Lewis (left) and Association of Fundraising Professionals’ CEO Mike Geiger. We met at IoF’s annual convention in London.

Closer to home, we are launching our revitalised awards program later this week. The 2020 FIA Awards for Excellence in Fundraising will feature several new categories offering you more opportunities to enter your campaigns and a streamlined entry process. I’d also like to thank our generous sponsors, Mondial and Precision Fundraising, who are making free entry possible for our members! More information is coming later this week, so check your inbox.

On the compliance front, the FIA Code Authority’s role includes promoting awareness of our Code for members. Recent compliance monitoring has pointed to the need for greater awareness of the requirement under the Code not to accept donations in circumstances where fundraisers have a reasonable belief that the donor is in vulnerable circumstances or lacks the capacity to make a decision to donate (FIA Code 4.7).

The Code Authority considers that it is often at the ‘front-line’ level of staff dealing with donors directly that some of the most critical Code compliance issues, and potential harm to public trust, could arise. Training for all fundraising staff, and clear systems and role expectations to ensure that all fundraising staff are alert to Code obligations and understand everyone’s responsibility, are both important.

To assist members, FIA has developed a Practice Note on dealing with donors in vulnerable circumstances. We’ve also created a postcard which  summarises the Practice Note. It is designed to be printed and attached to computer monitors or work stations as a ready reminder of how to identify and deal with people in vulnerable circumstances.

FIA’s Code training includes a module on identifying and dealing with people in vulnerable circumstances. I strongly encourage all members to make use of these resources.


 Find the postcard here on the members-only portal.