skip to main content
The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
Text size:

Briefing paper will help charities understand proposed changes in fundraising regulation

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has this week published a briefing paper, which aims to support charities in understanding how proposed changes to fundraising regulation could affect them.

Tom McGrath, Northern Ireland’s Chief Charity Commissioner commented: “Charity fundraising, a vital aspect of many charities’ activities, is largely regulated by the sector itself, a system known as self-regulation.

“However, this system is currently being reviewed with the aim of developing a less complex and more effective system, which will help to reaffirm public trust and confidence in charity fundraising practices.

“We have produced a short briefing paper to help charities, donors, fundraisers and members of the public understand the proposed changes, and the impact they may have on how charities fundraise.”

Download CCNI EG052 Changes in fundraising regulation briefing paper PDF (508 KB)

Across the UK, standards of conduct for fundraising by charities in the UK are set and enforced through a system of self-regulation.  There are three main bodies involved in the self-regulatory system:

  • The Institute of Fundraising (IoF)
  • The Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB)
  • The Public Fundraising Association (PFRA)

It is voluntary for charities to subscribe as members of these organisations and be regulated through adherence to their standards. 

Over the last year, certain fundraising practices used by, or on behalf of, some charities in England and Wales have come under very public criticism.

The proposed changes, which are analysed in detail in the Commission’s Review of fundraising regulation briefing paper (available above), include:

  • creating a new fundraising regulator responsible for setting and enforcing a single code of practice, and adjudicating on fundraising complaints
  • establishing a system of co-regulation, involving enhanced self-regulation overseen by the new regulator working with statutory regulators such as the Commission
  • creating a Fundraising Preference Service which could allow members of the public to opt out of fundraising communications.


For more information please contact Shirley Kernan, Commission for Communications Officer, on telephone: 028 3832 0169, mobile: 07827338978 or email:

Notes to editors

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is the independent regulator of charities in Northern Ireland, established under the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008.

A non-departmental public body, the Commission is sponsored by the Department for Social Development and has a number of legal functions where it uses powers similar to those of the High Court.