PFRA to carry out mystery shopping trials on private-site fundraisers

Twelve charities have volunteered to take part in the trial, which will be carried out over the next six months

Face-to-face fundraising
Face-to-face fundraising

The Public Fundraising Association is to carry out mystery shopping trials involving face-to-face fundraisers on private sites.

The PFRA said 12 charities had volunteered to take part in the six-month trial, during which it hoped to carry out 38 mystery shops.

It said it had created a rule book covering private-site fundraising, which includes face-to-face activity in shopping centres or supermarkets.

The rule book says fundraisers must not obstruct, interfere with or disrespect staff members from local businesses and must not work outside the confines of the site as set out by its owner.

Charities taking part will not be subject to any fines as a result of any rule breaches uncovered during the trial, the PFRA said.

Participating charities, which the PFRA said had volunteered to take part in the trial, include Battersea Dog & Cats Home, Marie Curie, the RSPCA and WWF-UK.

A statement from the PFRA said it was working with the Institute of Fundraising, with which it intends to merge by the end of July, to provide a new range of compliance services and support for members.

"This trial is a significant first step by the PFRA, which will hopefully see the permanent establishment of a mystery shopping programme for private-site fundraising and will gather vital information on current standards," it said.

Peter Hills-Jones, chief executive of the PFRA, said in a statement that members had often asked the PFRA to expand its services.

"We have worked hard over the past decade to strengthen street and door-to-door fundraising, and we are now going one step further," he said.

Hills-Jones said the results of the trial would be made available to members "once it has provided evidence of success".

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