Public Fundraising Regulatory Association to introduce fines for doorstep fundraising rule-breakers

By Sophie Hudson, Third Sector Online, 17 October 2011

Doorstep fundraising

Doorstep fundraising

Its PFRA Rule Book (Door) comes in the wake of a similar publication for street fundraising

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association will fine charities and agencies whose fundraisers breach new rules for doorstep fundraising.

The regulator announced similar plans for street fundraising in August.

The PFRA Rule Book (Door), published today, includes the regulator’s interpretation of the Institute of Fundraising’s code of practice on face-to-face fundraising and additional rules put in place by the PFRA.  

Charities or agencies, depending on which employs the fundraiser concerned, will incur 20, 50 or 100 penalty points each time a fundraiser is caught breaking a rule by the PFRA’s standards team.

Each point has a value of £1, and if an organisation accrues more than 1,000 points in a year it will be billed the equivalent amount in pounds. This will go to the PFRA as unrestricted income.   

Many of the rules are the same as in the street rule book, but there are some new ones. One says, for example, that fundraisers should always knock or ring at a property’s main entrance and that they should be careful not to cause alarm or distress when calling in the dark.

A six-month trial period will start from today and be followed by a review. Points will not result in fines until the trial period has ended.

The PFRA is also to launch a new customer feedback mechanism on its website in the next year. People will be able to post comments and observations about doorstep fundraising. This will be separate from the PFRA’s existing complaints process.

The mechanism will be part of the PFRA’s doorstep quality control programme, which it will introduce over the next year. This will also involve the PFRA’s standards team inspecting fundraisers’ training sessions and shadowing fundraising teams.

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