Minding the pennies

Global trends in the regulation of charitable fundraising

Authored by: Oonagh B. Breen

The Routledge Companion to Philanthropy

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415783255
eBook ISBN: 9781315740324
Adobe ISBN: 9781317579717


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This chapter explores current global trends in fundraising regulation. The perennial issue of effective fundraising regulation has thwarted many policymakers the world over. Indeed, what constitutes effective regulation is a contested issue. Overly prescriptive regulation dates quickly and becomes moribund as technology changes the manner in which funds are raised and the problems associated with these ventures. Enabling regulations, on the other hand, that require agency input for effective oversight, can be hostages to fortune being either dependent upon the good offices of an agent, such as a local authority, police, or tax authority, whose primary concern may be far removed from charity regulation per se, or purely self-regulatory and thereby lacking the necessary teeth of enforcement and sanction. The growing ability of organizations to fundraise across state/country borders, prompted in part by donor migration and the ease with which remote e-donations may now be made, has brought to the fore technical legal issues relating to registration requirements, jurisdiction to regulate non-state fundraisers, particularly when the donations in question are unsolicited, and the burden of conflicting regulatory requirements that apply when an organization seeks to run a nationwide fundraising campaign, not to mention newly emerging concerns prompted by the nature of electronic fundraising.

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