'Mystery shopping' to assess door-to-door fundraising

Self-regulatory body the PFRA says scheme will drive up standards

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association is planning to launch a scheme based on 'mystery shopping' to monitor how people feel about door-to-door fundraising.

The technique, which typically uses undercover shoppers to assess how organisations are performing, has been used widely in street fundraising. "Mystery shopping has helped to improve standards enormously over the past five years," said Mick Aldridge, chief executive of the PFRA.

"It has always been assumed that doorstep methodology presents too much of a challenge to successful mystery shopping, but we think we've cracked it."

The initiative is likely to involve follow-up calls to houses that have recently been visited by door-to-door fundraisers.

The organisation is holding meetings with its members and agencies to discuss how such an initiative would work and talking to charities about whether they would allow their fundraising activity to be monitored.

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