New fining regime for street fundraising comes into force

Sally de la Bedoyere, chief executive of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, says fundraisers need to maintain the public's confidence

Sally de la Bedoyere
Sally de la Bedoyere

Street fundraisers will have to abide by a new set of rules from today or face possible fines.

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association has introduced its PFRA Rule Book (Street F2F) from today to drive up standards in street fundraising, as part of an attempt to improve the public perception of face-to-face fundraising.

New rules include fundraisers not standing within three metres of a shop doorway, pedestrian crossing, cashpoint or station entrance when seeking donations. They should also not approach members of the public who are sitting down or who are "on duty", such as newspaper vendors and tour guides.

Charities and agencies will receive penalty points of 20, 50 or 100 for breaching the rules. If an organisation receives more than 1,000 points in a financial year, it will face a fine of £1 per point.

The document also says fundraisers should not behave in a way that might cause people to become excessively startled or anxious, must not behave dishonestly or manipulatively and must not deliberately use guilt. For breaking these rules, the fundraising organisation would be given 100 points.

Sally de la Bedoyere, chief executive of the PFRA, said: "For a form of fundraising that is so regularly in the limelight, it is vitally important that fundraisers work to the highest possible standards in order to maintain the confidence of the public, media, and central and local government."

The PFRA will monitor fundraisers’ behaviour using its mystery-shopping programme.

The rule book and penalty points system trial has been running since August 2011 and were reviewed after six months.

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