Call for PFRA to blacklist dishonest face-to-face fundraisers

Chuggers caught making up donors' names, says agency director

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association was urged to draw up a blacklist of rogue fundraisers at its annual general meeting in London last week.

Stephen Bruce, co-director of fundraising agency Together Fundraising, told the meeting that his firm had employed a worrying number of fundraisers who were found to be swapping names of newly signed direct debit donors with fundraisers from other agencies, he said.

Bruce said some had made up names or signed up their friends and families - a practice discouraged by agencies - in order to meet their targets. "If any of these names got past agency checks it would create a horrendous cancellation rate and waste the charities' time and money," he said. "The charities are our clients and it is our job to protect them."

Mick Aldridge, chief executive of the PFRA, said it had looked into creating a blacklist before and had encountered legal and data-protection issues. But it was happy to revisit the issue, he said.

John Burnell, director of consultancy Personnel Solutions, said creating a blacklist was not legally viable. The regulator should instead compile a list of legitimate face-to-face fundraisers to which people with clean track records could sign up. "Once the list has been built up, people whose names aren't on it will be frowned upon or fundraising agencies can at least draw their own conclusions," he said.

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