PFRA plan to exclude rogue charity fundraisers

'Approved register' to curb those who sign up phantom donors

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association has set up a working party to look into setting up an approved register of fundraisers.

The move comes after face-to-face agency Together Fundraising raised concerns about rogue fundraisers who sign 'phantom' donors - friends or family who cancel before their first payment - or use other fraudulent means to fill in direct debit mandates so they get their weekly wage.

If they are caught, or even before they are caught, they join another agency or charity.

The approved register could be similar to one operated by the Energy Retail Association, which allows only those people accredited under the association's EnergySure scheme to sell energy supplies door-to-door.

"Only a tiny minority of the thousands of people who fundraise on the street and door-to-door could ever be classified as rogues," said Mick Aldridge, chief executive of the PFRA, the self-regulatory body for face-to-face and door-to-door fundraising. "But they are clearly of concern to our members, so we have decided to act to stop this problem."

Graham Bunce, general manager of professional fundraising organisation Support Direct, will chair the working party, which is likely to report in October.

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