The Local Government Association (LGA) and the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) have made an agreement to help improve and maintain standards of face-to-face fundraising through voluntary agreements between councils across the UK and the PFRA.
The agreement is being launched at today's LGA Safer Communities conference in London. The agreement follows a survey by the LGA which showed that three quarters of councils were concerned about the "aggressive behaviour" of some face-to-face fundraisers to their residents and on their streets.
Voluntary site management
‘Making the Pledge’ contains LGA's recommendation of voluntary site management agreements with councils to give them “more control over face-to-face fundraising”. The agreements should combine the PFRA’s expertise in controlling fundraising and councils’ knowledge of local conditions. They are designed to offer a “wholly transparent and accountable way” to address local concerns about fundraising.
The PFRA commits to tailor each site agreement to “best suit the needs of a local area and its residents”.
What the agreements will cover
The national agreement sets out the factors that councils can expect to be covered in their agreements:
• The location of fundraisers
• The numbers of people and charities present
• Clear identification of team leaders to the council and public
• The hours and days when fundraising can take place
• Exclusion dates for specific events• Monitoring of activity by the PFRA and council to maximise resource
• Action and sanctions to be taken if specific charities breach terms in the voluntary agreement.
Councillor Mehboob Khan, the leader of Kirklees Council and chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: "Councils tell us that their residents and businesses can feel pressured by the aggressive behaviour of some face-to-face fundraisers, and that they have no powers to stop this from deterring visitors and impacting on local business activity. Fortunately, there is a solution at hand and I am delighted to say that the LGA has worked with the PFRA to strengthen and make more transparent the voluntary agreements that all charities collecting this way are signed up to, while we wait for central government to reform the licensing regime".
PFRA Chair Paul Stallard added: “Street fundraising is a vital and cost-effective form of fundraising for those charities that rely on it. But we cannot deny that it is controversial. The PFRA has been responding to these challenges for the past 10 years by developing co-regulatory partnership with councils and we already have more than 50 such agreements. Our day-today, bread and butter work is making sure fundraisers adhere to these agreements".
As part of the new working arrangements, the LGA has accepted a place on the PFRA’s board.
Peter Lewis, Institute of Fundraising Chief Executive, welcomed the agreement, saying: “The new PFRA/LGA Memorandum of Understanding is a welcome initiative that embeds compliance with the IoF’s Code of Fundraising Practice in these important agreements between the PFRA and local authorities.”
Get free email updates
Keep up to date with fundraising news, ideas and inspiration with a weekly or daily email. [Privacy]