Criticism for Clothes Aid's doorstep collection code

Scheme for tackling illegal collections 'might confuse', say Institute of Fundraising and Association of Charity shops

The Institute of Fundraising and the Association of Charity Shops have criticised moves led by collection company Clothes Aid to draw up a code of conduct for door-to-door fundraising.

A ‘summit' meeting on clothing collections, between Clothes Aid and 15 associated charities last month, saw participants agree to draw up a code of conduct to deal with the problem of bag theft and illegal collectors.

But a joint statement from the Institute of Fundraising and the Association of Charity Shops said that rules governing door-to-door collections were already set down in the association's code of charity retailing, which has been in operation since 2005 and was revised earlier this year to increase the transparency requirements for house-to-house collections.

"The proposal for a new, potentially confusing code comes from Clothes Aid, a commercial collection company," said Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of the institute.

"There is the danger this will be seen by some to be a code that looks after Clothes Aid's interests rather than those of charities or, more importantly, the donating public.

"We're calling on Clothes Aid to work to the standards of the Association of Charity Shops code and, if they feel that code requires strengthening, to make that case to the association."

Clothes Aid declined to comment.

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