Fundraising Regulator unveils private-site fundraising rulebook

The move comes after a review of standards for face-to-face fundraising, carried out in conjunction with the Institute of Fundraising

Fundraising Regulator's offices
Fundraising Regulator's offices

The Fundraising Regulator has published a rulebook for fundraising on private sites, closing a gap in its compliance guidance for fundraisers.

A review of standards for face-to-face fundraisers, carried out by the regulator and the Institute of Fundraising, found that although the street fundraising rulebook covered high streets, there were no guidelines available for fundraisers working in privately owned sites such as supermarkets and shopping centres.

The existing rulebooks for street and door-to-door fundraisers have also been updated in order, the regulator said in a statement, to strengthen the links between the rulebooks and the Code of Fundraising Practice.

Stephen Service, policy manager at the Fundraising Regulator, said the changes to the existing rulebooks would ensure the rules they contained were relevant to the public.

The new private-site fundraising rulebook includes many of the requirements that already apply to street fundraisers, such as being clearly identifiable as fundraisers, not obstructing pedestrians and businesses, and ensuring that potential donors are provided with the information they need when deciding whether to donate.

It also warns fundraisers to avoid behaviour that could cause members of the public to become startled or anxious, or bring the charity represented into disrepute.

The new rulebook and the revised ones will also reference compliance arrangements between the IoF and its members, such as its site-management diaries, site-management agreements with local authorities and penalty points systems. But the regulator said most of the detail on these issues would be relocated to the IoF website.

Suzanne McCarthy, chair of the regulator’s standards committee, said the rulebook had been developed in consultation with fundraisers and was "designed to ensure that there is a clear and consistent set of standards across all face-to face-fundraising, regardless of whether it takes place in public or in privately owned spaces".

She added: "The Fundraising Regulator is responsible for overseeing the public-facing aspects of the rulebooks. Our latest revisions to the street and door-to-door rulebooks reflect this role more clearly by ensuring that all rules included are relevant to the public."

Peter Hills-Jones, director of compliance at the IoF, said private-site fundraising was vital for many of the institute’s members.

"This new rulebook will therefore be a welcome tool to help fundraisers and, together with the Institute of Fundraising’s mystery shopping programme, shows the strength of self-regulation," he said.

"By working in partnership with the Fundraising Regulator, we are further improving the sustainability of this important form of fundraising."

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