22 March 2016

  |  CBI Scotland


Calling all charity trustees to have their say on future of fundraising in Scotland

CBI member and charity trustee Tony McElroy sets out the close bonds between business and charities in Scotland and encourages all businesses involved with charities as trustees and supporters to respond to SCVO survey on the future of fundraising regulation in Scotland.

Calling all charity trustees to have their say on future of fundraising in Scotland

The Scottish business community is undoubtedly one of the biggest funders, facilitators and friends of the charity sector. Indeed, last week I spoke to a senior Charity CEO who passionately described how a neighbouring business was discretely helping her organisation on a regular basis, declining the opportunity of public recognition because the business leadership felt that helping out was the right thing to do. In economic good times and bad, Scotland’s business community has stood by the charity sector and that is something CBI members should be extremely proud of.

But as how we do business changes apace, so too do our charity partners. I won’t need to explain to any CBI member the impact that regulation, good or bad, can have in how we operate. Therefore far reaching changes to how Scotland’s charities fundraise, and how this is regulated, matters. It matters to businesses that support charities large and small, and it matters to charity trustees.

Being a charity trustee is a truly rewarding experience that can hone skills in our own businesses. Trustees play a vital role in ensuring the sound management of the charities and it is our business community that often provides that wealth of valued experts, giving freely of their time (and sometimes more) as Trustees and advisers, activists and fundraisers to Scotland’s charities.

Whether you are helping a local group understand accountancy practice changes or running a marathon in a hula skirt (I know otherwise sensible people who have done both) - charity matters to Scotland’s business community.

If you are a trustee, or interested in becoming one, you need to familiarise yourself with the changing regulatory landscape, especially while there is still time to contribute to its future.

SCVO is currently undertaking a consultation on the future of charity fundraising in Scotland. Vital for all charities, their funders and trustees. I’d urge you to integrate and respond to the consultation. The UK government and the Scottish government are aligned. Things are going to change. What that change looks like, with charity law devolved, is for discussion. The working group has identified three key options to frame the debate: a UK-wide approach to fundraising regulation, albeit in a strengthened and more accountable form; a Scottish-based regulator; or an enhanced role for charities and OSCR.

Complete the survey into the future of fundraising regulation in Scotland

I think we know we don’t need to be Andrew Carnegie or William Burrell to make a real difference in the communities we serve. But as charity fundraising finds itself at a cross roads, our business community, as charity trustees and donors, should make our voice heard - to help get it right.

If you have any questions about the fundraising consultation, please contact me on tony.mcelroy@uk.tesco.com

Tony McElroy is Head of Communications and Devolved Government Relations for TESCO plc and a Trustee of Impact Arts.