The practice of street ‘prospecting’ is now incorporated within the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association’s (PFRA) self-regulatory regime.
Prospecting is the collection on the street of the contact details of potential donors, who can then be asked to give at a later date
Prospecting is covered by the Institute of Fundraising’s Face-to-Face Activity Code of Fundraising Practice, after it was incorporated into the code in its December 2009 revision. This brought prospecting within the regulatory remit of the PFRA.
Until this month, prospecting fell outside the PFRA’s normal levy procedures because no donors were recruited on the street. PFRA’s charity members pay a levy to the PFRA of 75p for each new donor they recruit through street or doorstep face-to-face activity. This funds the PFRA in fulfilling its regulatory functions, such as running a mystery shopping programme, dealing with complaints about F2F fundraising and negotiating access with local authorities.
As of 10 January, however, prospecting became fully incorporated into PFRA’s site allocation processes throughout the UK and charities will now need to ‘bid’ for prospecting sites in the same way that they bid for street fundraising sites.
PFRA members have agreed to pay a fixed levy of £6.75 per site per day for each site that is used for prospecting.
The fee is based on how many donors a team of fundraisers would have been likely to sign up had it been operating in that site, rather than the number of contacts made or the number of donors recruited during follow-up contacts. As with the per donor levy, charities will pay the prospecting levy, not agencies.
Michael Naidu, PFRA’s acting chair, welcomed the integration of prospecting. He said: “To potential donors on the street, and of course to local authority licensing officers and town centre managers, prospectors are indistinguishable from street fundraisers. As this is undoubtedly a form of fundraising – because the street contact is followed up with a telephone call or other communication asking them to become regular donors – it is important that prospecting is fully integrated into the mainstream of self-regulation of F2F fundraising”.