PFRA considers passing face-to-face complaints role to Fundraising Standards Board

Sally de la Bedoyere, chief executive of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, says she sees it moving away from dealing with public complaints

Sally de la Bedoyere
Sally de la Bedoyere

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association is considering passing its role in dealing with public complaints about face-to-face fundraising to the Fundraising Standards Board, according to its new chief executive.

Sally de la Bedoyere told Third Sector that the different functions of the three major fundraising umbrella bodies needed to be clarified.

She was responding to a recommendation in Lord Hodgson’s review of the Charities Act 2006 that said the FRSB and sector umbrella bodies, including the PFRA and the Institute of Fundraising, needed to "address the confused self-regulatory landscape".

Hodgson said they needed to agree a division of responsibilities that provides clarity and simplicity to the public and removes duplication.

De la Bedoyere, who joined the PFRA earlier this month, admitted the public was confused about the different roles and responsibilities of the PFRA, the FRSB and the IoF.

"We have to adapt," she said. "I can see we have a specialist role in face-to-face to expand the distribution and allocation of sites.

"I see us less involved in public complaints. Our true role is in business-to-business as an interface between charities and local authorities, which is what Lord Hodgson was recommending."

The PFRA investigates complaints about breaches of the IoF’s Code of Fundraising Practice that are made by members of the public.

It is also part of the FRSB’s role to help resolve complaints from the public about its members’ fundraising activities of all kinds, including face-to-face.

De la Bedoyere said: "We should not be the first point of call with the public.

"I see us primarily working with local authorities, handing on complaints to the FRSB that fall within its framework."

Alistair McLean, chief executive of the FRSB, said he had met de la Bedoyere to discuss the self-regulatory landscape.

"The FRSB handles all the complaints for the whole sector for every other method of fundraising with the exception of face-to-face," he said.

"The PFRA is indicating that its direction of travel is to provide greater clarity by directing complaints through the FRSB’s complaints services. That is very encouraging."

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