The boards of the Institute of Fundraising and Public Fundraising Association (PFRA) have unanimously agreed the merger of the organisations to produce a single membership body for fundraisers in the UK, and one which offers a new range of compliance services for the membership.
A final decision to ratify the merger agreement will take place at the PFRA’s AGM on 15th June, with the merger due to be completed by 31 July.
The merger was proposed last year as part of the Etherington review into the self-regulation of fundraising, following criticism by some media of some fundraising practices.
The Boards took their decisions “in the best interests of the fundraising community”.
The reserves and assets of the PFRA will be transferred to the merged organisation. These will be ring-fenced under a three year agreement ending in July 2019, and used by the Institute for the purposes of supporting and furthering compliance in public fundraising.
The current Chief Executive of the PFRA, Peter Hills-Jones, will take up a new position as Director of Fundraising Compliance at the Institute of Fundraising. Staff currently employed by the PFRA will become the Fundraising Compliance Directorate. There will be “no redundancies” as part of the merger according to the Institute.
The PFRA has already established a mystery shopping programme for private site fundraising which involves a six month pilot programme launching on 1 April. It will gather information on current standards.
Following the merger, the Institute will create three new sub-committees of the main Board of Trustees – Door-to-Door Fundraising; Street and Private Site Fundraising; and Telephone Compliance. Existing PFRA Directors will sit on the committee most closely related to their role and expertise. The committee chairs will be selected by the IoF and the PFRA.
A full consultation will be launched next month, with a series of ‘Question and Answer’ sessions scheduled to allow PFRA members to discuss the proposal with Trustees of the IoF and Directors of the PFRA.
Richard Taylor, Chair of the Institute of Fundraising said:
“The PFRA has achieved a huge amount since it was formed and was rightly credited during last year’s inquiries as being at the forefront of improving fundraising standards. That’s why we at the IoF are so excited to be moving towards a merger and are confident that this will ensure we have a single membership body driving best practice and speaking with one voice”.
Paul Stallard, Chair of the PFRA added:
“Our Board have rightly recognised the huge opportunities this merger presents to expand our compliance work into new forms of fundraising. We have worked hard over the last decade to strengthen street and door-to-door fundraising and we are now going one step further. The events of last year showed there can be no gaps in self-regulation if we are to preserve public trust, so I strongly believe this merger will provide an excellent platform to help our members deliver even higher standards of fundraising.”
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