Man and woman stand in front of an open door as an older woman puts some money in a jar

Subcontractors in the spotlight – Update from the Fundraising Regulator

Published: 13/12/23 | Categories: Funding,Information & support, Author: Mary Roberts

Mary Roberts, Stakeholder & Policy Manager for Wales at the Fundraising Regulator, provides an update for voluntary organisations on good fundraising practice and recent developments.

Welsh charity fundraisers committed to achieving best practice will have felt uneasy reading Wales Online’s investigation into the way subcontractors carry out door-to-door fundraising.

There is mounting evidence that some companies – operating as subcontractors – are using high-pressure sales tactics that may well breach the Code of Fundraising Practice and threaten to undermine public trust and confidence in the sector.

As a result, the Fundraising Regulator has launched its first market inquiry looking into issues relating to the use of subcontractors in fundraising by charities. The market inquiry will include fact-finding, sector engagement, and workshops with relevant stakeholders.

You can read a recent blog from the regulator’s Head of Policy, Paul Winyard, highlighting the risks of subcontracting and how to ensure best practice.


Face-to-face fundraising has returned at scale since the coronavirus pandemic and the Fundraising Regulator’s Annual Complaints Report, covering the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023, showed that door-to-door fundraising generated more complaints than any other method.

This method is a positive way for charities to interact with the public and generate income, but many complainants expressed dislike of the method. The use of subcontractors present charities with the added challenge of ensuring relevant standards are upheld.

Download the regulator’s report to understand some of the issues facing the fundraising sector and get tips on how to mitigate and respond to complaints about charitable fundraising.


The Christmas Safer Giving campaign, co-ordinated by the Fundraising Regulator alongside the Charity Commission for England and Wales (CCEW) and Action Fraud, urges members of the public to make simple checks to ensure their charitable donations reach the intended cause.

The campaign comes ahead of the festive season, during which appeals for charitable donations increases and the British public are more likely to give at Christmas than during the rest of the year. According to data from CCEW, almost one in three people (28%) consider donating to charity for Christmas instead of giving presents.

Please share our safer giving message with your donors and supporters.


For the first time since it was founded in 2016, the Fundraising Regulator is due to review the annual levy and registration fees it asks charities to pay to fund its work. This is so that it can continue providing effective self-regulation of the sector that promotes public trust in charitable fundraising.

On the 4 December the regulator launched an online engagement exercise into the proposed changes, and would encourage interested charities to respond.


The Fundraising Regulator’s code consultation on proposals to update the Code of Fundraising Practice closed on 1 December 2023. The regulator co-hosted a consultation event in Cardiff with WCVA to share their plans and gather feedback. We would like to thank everyone who attended the event and to those who responded to the consultation. We will be publishing a summary of responses early next year. You can sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date on the code review process as well as other news and events.


Making sure that the charity sector is supported to fundraise in a way that is open, honest, respectful and legal is a vital part of the Fundraising Regulator’s role in Wales.

You can contact if you have any questions about applying the UK-wide Code of Fundraising Practice.