In a joint statement today, the two bodies said they had signed an initial agreement giving the go-ahead, with a final decision due at the PFRA’s annual general meeting on 15 June. The PFRA will become part of the IoF and its brand will disappear.
The two said there would be no redundancies as a result of the merger and all seven PFRA staff will join the IoF. Peter Hills-Jones, chief executive of the PFRA, will take up a new position as director of fundraising compliance.
They said the full terms of the initial agreement were not being released for reasons of commercial confidentiality, but the main points included the creation of three new sub-committees of the main IoF board to deal with door-to-door fundraising, street and private site fundraising and telephone compliance.
Under the terms of the agreement, the IoF will appoint a trustee from a public fundraising agency with expertise in fundraising compliance.
The reserves and assets of the PFRA will be transferred to the IoF, ring-fenced until the end of July 2019 and used by the IoF "for the purposes of supporting and furthering compliance in public fundraising", the joint statement said.
The bodies said a full consultation on the move would be launched next month with a series of question and answer sessions scheduled to enable PFRA members to discuss the proposals with IoF trustees and PFRA senior staff.
The joint statement said the move would "enshrine best practice at the heart of the IoF’s future strategy and provide a range of new compliance services and support for the whole membership".
Richard Taylor, chair of the IoF, said: "The PFRA has achieved a huge amount since it was formed and was rightly credited during last year’s inquiries as being at the forefront of improving fundraising standards.
"That’s why we at the IoF are so excited to be moving towards a merger and are confident that this will ensure we have a single membership body driving best practice and speaking with one voice."
Paul Stallard, chair of the PFRA, said his board had rightly recognised the "huge opportunities" presented by the merger to expand its compliance work into new forms of fundraising.
"We have worked hard over the last decade to strengthen street and door-to-door fundraising and we are now going one step further," he said.
"The events of last year showed there can be no gaps in self-regulation if we are to preserve public trust, so I strongly believe this merger will provide an excellent platform to help our members deliver even higher standards of fundraising."