The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association plans to extend its doorstep compliance programme nationwide later this year.
The umbrella body has completed its London-based doorstep compliance pilot, in which it observed door-to-door fundraising training and shadowed fundraising teams on the job between December and March.
A PFRA officer observed door-to-door fundraisers from nine organisations, including Greenpeace, Tim Lilley Fundraising and Appco in order to assess their use of the PFRA rule book and the Institute of Fundraising’s code of conduct.
The PFRA’s doorstep compliance officer, Suzanne Moen, also sat in on each organisation’s training sessions in order to compare them against best practice.
Peter Hills-Jones, head of policy and communications at the PFRA, said that the decision to extend the pilot beyond the capital was taken at the association’s board meeting in May.
He said that monitoring doorstep fundraisers represented a bigger challenge than monitoring street fundraisers. "In large suburban areas, teams are under no obligation to inform us when they’re fundraising on the door," he said.
Hills-Jones said the PFRA had a diary system for London so that it knew where doorstep fundraisers were, but covering the whole country with that system would be a challenge.
He said that the PFRA was contacting different charities and agencies to get a sense of how active they were in different areas before deciding where to focus its fieldwork. He said this research phase would take place this summer and the fieldwork would commence in early autumn.
Hills-Jones said that the two main areas doorstep fundraising could improve were cold calling zones – which have been expanded to ever-larger areas – and meeting EU directives on lone workers.