INSTITUTE OF FUNDRAISING: Public collections need to be debated

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While many of the proposals contained within the Strategy Unit's Regulation of Public Collections document are to be welcomed, it's clear that recommendations surrounding the regulation of this area of fundraising will spark much debate.

One of the key proposals within the document is the abolition of Home Office Exemption Orders for charities wishing to collect on a national or UK-wide basis. For organisations with a major programme of UK-wide collections, this will clearly increase costs and create a considerable additional administrative requirement, despite the report's contention that "this should not represent too great a burden".

Another area of concern must rest in the decision to restrict licensing to publicly owned spaces. At present many examples of abuse of the public's generosity derive from collections in places of free public access, shopping malls, railway stations and supermarket forecourts that are not subject to licence. The lack of regulatory control is the subject of much public criticism and is frequently a source of public distrust of all charitable collections.

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