The current system for fundraising self-regulation in England and Wales, administered by the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB), Institute of Fundraising and Public Fundraising Association, has increasingly been criticised for being ineffective and overly complicated.
The new regulator is still in the process of launching. It appointed former Channel 4 and ITV chief executive Michael Grade as its interim chair late last year, and its chief executive Stephen Dunmore also promised last month that it would be "four times better resourced" than the FRSB, with up to 20 staff, as PRWeek sister title Third Sector reported in February.
Grade has now taken on Pagefield, which was founded in 2010 by Mark Gallagher, a former colleague when Gallagher was ITV's comms chief, and at lottery operator Camelot.
Pagefield's work will be led by partner Craig Westwood, who said of the new client: "The main thing is to make sure we get awareness of the regulator as quickly as possible – who they are, what they do – and make sure everyone gets reassurance from us that the right processes are being followed by charities."
Westwood, who joined the firm three years ago from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, said the agency had been engaged on an open-ended, ongoing retainer, and that he was not aware of whether other agencies had been approached to pitch for the work.
There are currently no in-house comms staff at the regulator. Its powers are expected to come into force in the summer.
Pagefield clients include ASDA, BAE Systems, Stonewall and the Museum of London, and it was also appointed as John Lewis' first dedicated corporate comms agency last year.