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PFRA introduces new rules for doorstep face-to-face fundraising

Howard Lake | 17 October 2011 | News

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, the self-regulatory membership body for face-to-face fundraising, has today published a rule book to cover doorstep face-to-face fundraising, a companion volume to its rule book for street face-to-face fundraising.
The PFRA Rule Book (Door) contains new rules and ./guidance based on the organisation’s interpretation of the Institute of Fundraising’s Code of Practice on Face-to-Face Activity. Its rule are binding on PFRA members.
Much of it mirrors the street Rule Book, but of course it excludes rules that relate only to street fundraising, such as the three step rule.
New rules specifically about doorstep F2F are:
* Fundraisers ought always knock or ring at a property’s main entrance and not use side entrances or back doors, unless a resident gives permission to do so.
* Fundraising may only take place between 9am and 9pm (10am on Sundays and public holidays) unless fundraisers have permission to visit outside these hours.
* Fundraisers should take extra care when calling once darkness has fallen so as not to cause alarm or distress to householders.
As with the new street rules, breaches of the doorstep rules will incur penalty points, which, after a six-month trial and a review, will be converted into fines at £1 per point. Once a fundraising organisation passes a 1,000-point threshold, they will be liable to monetary fines.
The new rules will be backed up by a new doorstep quality control programme designed to complement the mystery shopping programme for street fundraising. The three stages to this programme will be phased in over the next year.
The first stage will involve PFRA’s standards team inspecting training sessions to check how well the requirements of the code and Rule Book are communicated to fundraisers.
After that, PFRA’s standards team will begin shadowing fundraising teams to observe how they operate on the ground.
Finally, within 12 months, PFRA will place on its website a customer feedback mechanism whereby members of the public can post comments and observations about doorstep face-to-face. This is not a complaints process, as there is already an established PFRA complaints process that any resident can use.