PFRA ponders an approved list of fundraisers

The alternative could be a blacklist of street fundraisers who falsify direct debits, says self-regulatory body

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association will introduce new rules on street fundraisers later this year.

It intends to bring in either a blacklist of face-to-face fundraisers who falsify direct debit details, or an approved list of fundraisers.

The organisation will decide over the next few months which approach to take.

It will also produce new guidance for charities on how they can deal with fundraisers who use 'phantom donors'.

This practice includes writing false bank details on forms as well as asking friends and family members to sign up and then cancel their direct debits, a PFRA spokesman said.

He said the regulator had decided to take action after one agency had reported the problem and a number of others had agreed it was a concern. But he said it was a small-scale problem.

It was reasonable for charities to set targets for face-to-face fundraisers, he said. "Everyone works to targets, and failing to meet these is not a good excuse for falsifying forms," he said.

Millie Ahmed, director of face-to-face fundraising agency Gift, said the agency set targets for each team of fundraisers and the individuals each received an extra £1 an hour if their team met its target.

The Institute of Fundraising's code of practice on face-to-face fundraising says commission payments should not be made unless "all other sources of fundraising investment have been explored and exhausted".

It says performance-related pay is acceptable if a charity is satisfied it "safeguards the income it will receive from the fundraising activity".


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