PFRA to publish average of penalty points issued to street fundraisers

Annual benchmark will show how organisations have performed against standards, says Nick Henry of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association

Nick Henry
Nick Henry

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association is to begin publishing figures that show the average number of penalty points incurred by members for breaching street fundraising rules. 

Before its annual general meeting this afternoon, the PFRA said its new Compliance Benchmark would show the average number of penalty points issued per compliance visit across all organisations.

The benchmark will take into account data from the regulator’s mystery shopping programme and site checks during the previous financial year.

The PFRA will also publish figures showing the average number of penalty points issued for breaches of the three types of rules: operational, conduct and administration.

Operational rules relate to the terms of the site-management agreements, which specify details such as where fundraisers can work and for how many days a week, and other regulations such as working too close to a shop and leaving bags unattended.

Conduct misdemeanours include following people for more than three steps; administrative breaches include failing to submit diary requests.

The PFRA said it would also publish a graph showing the average number of penalty points issued during each month of the financial year.

An interim benchmark will be available in November this year to provide results from the first full year of the regulator’s penalties and standards regime, which it launched last August.

Annual figures will then be published from May.

Since the penalty point regime was introduced, charities and agencies receive 20, 50 or 100 point penalties for breaching street fundraising rules. If an organisation receives more than 1,000 points in a financial year, it will be fined £1 per point.

Fundraising agencies and charities running in-house teams will be given their own individual average compliance scores, plus their average scores for operational, conduct and administration rules, which will not be published by the PFRA.

Charities will be given details of the penalty points issued to their provider agencies while working on their campaigns.

Nick Henry, the PFRA’s head of standards and allocations, said: "We have put a massive amount of time and effort over the past four years into developing and fine-tuning our standards procedures. What we have now is the most rigorous system of enforcement and compliance for any type of fundraising.

"Our annual benchmark will give an overall indication of how well, or badly, our members perform and gives our members the opportunity to publicise how well they are performing against the benchmark. After a few years, we will have enough information to start identifying long-term trends in compliance."

Jenna Pudelek

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