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- Equality and rights
New approach to handling fundraising complaints in Scotland.
A phone number and website allowing complaints about the conduct of Scotland's charities have gone live today.
The new phoneline and online reporting site – designed to give the public more protection against aggressive fundraising tactics – follow the recommendation of the Fundraising Working Group in Scotland.
The Fundraising Regulator will operate as the lead regulator for cross-border charities, where charities operate in Scotland but are registered in England and Wales.
Communities Secretary Angela Constance said:
"Most charities in Scotland operate to high standards and do a valuable job, for which we as a country are very grateful.
"However, Scotland's charities benefit from a great deal of public trust and it's important that that confidence is maintained.
"This new phone number and website will be run by Scottish Fundraising Complaints – set up by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and the Scottish charity regulator OSCR – and will give people information about how to raise any concerns they may have.
"In relation to cross border charities, we will follow a 'lead' regulator model – as used by OSCR & Charity Commission – for charities with headquarters in England and Wales but which fundraise in Scotland, who will comply with the Scottish regulatory system but will be regulated by the Fundraising Regulator.
"This move follows extensive consultation with the third sector and the public and I'm confident it will keep public trust in our charities at the high level they deserve to be."
Martin Sime, Chief Executive, SCVO, said:
"Enhanced self-regulation has been identified as the best way to oversee fundraising in Scotland and support our vibrant sector to continue to flourish in a backdrop of public trust and transparency.
"We have learned through our consultation that charities and the public needed a much simpler approach, and now we have it.
"The new phone and email service will make it easier for members of the public to complain about charity fundraising by helping them find the right place to raise their fundraising complaint and get it resolved.
"This marks the start of a whole new chapter in the story of fundraising standards and the need for our sector to nurture public trust and confidence in what we do."