Street fundraising rule breaches fell last year, says IoF

But more than a third of spot checks by the Institute of Fundraising found rules being broken

The number of breaches of street fundraising rules has fallen in the past year, according to figures from the Institute of Fundraising.

But more than a third of the IoF spot checks on fundraisers still found the rules were being broken in some way, the IoF figures show.

The IoF said today that it had conducted 922 mystery shopper spot checks between April 2016 and March 2017 to see whether fundraisers were complying with the rules laid out in the Fundraising Regulator’s street fundraising rulebook and with any site-management agreements that were in place, awarding penalty points for each breach of the rules they found.

The IoF said today that the average number of penalties issued during each compliance check fell from 52 points in 2015/16 to 28 points last year.

But 35 per cent of the mystery shopper checks last year led to some kind of penalty after a breach was discovered. This, however, represented a fall for the fourth year in a row, the IoF said, from 58 per cent in the 2013/14 financial year.

If an organisation is handed 1,000 penalty points or more during the course of a year, it is fined £1 per point acquired.

An IoF spokeswoman confirmed that some fines were issued over the year, but was unable to give details of how much they were or the average amount of the fine.

In a statement, the IoF said the figures illustrated the success of site-management agreements, which are made between the IoF and local councils and set out where and when fundraisers can operate.

There are 126 agreements in place with local authorities across the UK.

Peter Hills-Jones, director of compliance at IoF said: "Previously, as the Public Fundraising Association and now as the Institute of Fundraising’s compliance directorate, we are working with and supporting members every day to ensure their engagement with the public is always a positive one.

"These numbers are a credit to our members and show that, when the sector works together with rules that are clearly understood and regularly monitored, we see impressive results.

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