Debate: Should door-to-door fundraisers be sent into cold calling control zones?

The Institute of Fundraising has issued new guidelines saying charities can decide to ignore some of the zones. Three experts give their views

No cold calling zone
No cold calling zone

KORY MCLEODcompliance manager, Fundraising Standards Board

If the zones have been set up legitimately, in accordance with guidance from the Trading Standards Institute, charities and suppliers must refrain from any door-to-door fundraising in those areas.

However, many cold calling control zones are not established officially and fundraising restrictions might not apply to them. Such zones should be thoroughly investigated before a decision is made.

Explore the reasons why the zone was set up. What type of activity do residents think is prohibited? Do many elderly or vulnerable people live there?

If you still feel it is reasonable to fundraise in the area, proceed with caution. A risk assessment is essential. The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association is drawing up a template risk assessment.

 

GRACE COWLEYfundraising officer, Mothers' Union

Door-to-door fundraising in no cold calling zones is far into territory Mothers' Union doesn't touch. It is hit-and-run fundraising; it is less about cultivating support from the giver and more about quick-hit cash. It annoys and frustrates members of the public and creates disillusionment about the charity sector.

Of course, there are people in no cold calling zones who don't want salespeople but might be charity-minded. But flouting an explicit stipulation not to be called on, whatever your cause, is basic disrespect.

Some of these people are vulnerable. If a charity gets a direct debit from someone by disregarding their no cold calling status, it is unethical and will do the charity no favours with families who find their elderly parents have been bothered and persuaded to hand over cash to a charity fundraiser.

 

DOMINIC WILLdirector, Home Fundraising

Cold calling control zones set up according to Trading Standards Institute guidelines should be observed by fundraisers. However, zones set up outside the guidelines often represent an unfair restriction on fundraising activity.

In these instances, fundraisers should apply common sense. In some areas, the zones simply represent an unreasonable constraint, and fundraising activity should go ahead - albeit with due respect for residents' sensitivities.

Any agency or charity that is directly involved in door-to-door fundraising should be constantly evaluating fundraising sites and monitoring the response. It would be inappropriate simply to adhere to unofficial restrictions that suppress fundraising and awareness-raising activity.

 

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