Birmingham Site Management Agreement for face-to-face fundraising starts

Howard Lake | 1 July 2016 | News

A new street fundraising Site Management Agreement (SMA) with Birmingham City Council will come into effect today, to help improve fundraising practice in the major city’s centre. The agreement with the Public Fundraising Association will run at first for three months.
The voluntary agreement between charities, Birmingham City Council and the Public Fundraising Association will manage when, where and how many fundraisers can operate in the city centre.
For example, there will be no fundraising on the weekend and the total number of fundraisers in the city centre will be limited to 12, spread over three sites at any one time.  A programme of mystery shopping and financial penalties for rule breaches will back up the agreement.
There are now 116 Site Management Agreements across the UK. The PFRA says that there has been a “significant fall” in complaints in these areas. Nearly 90% of councils which had introduced one would, according to the self-regulatory body, recommend the approach to other councils.
Councillor Barbara Dring, Chair of Birmingham City Council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said:

“This three-month trial agreement with the PFRA will enable charities to continue to fundraise – albeit with fewer fundraising teams – without detracting from other activities in the city centre, and it is hoped that by working together a longer-term agreement can be reached.
“We recognise the need for charities to engage face-to-face with potential donors, to enable their good work to continue, but it has to be balanced with the feelings of the public and retailers.”

The PFRA’s Chief Executive Peter Hills-Jones, added:

“Charities rely on the generosity and support of the public, and this latest Site Management Agreement shows that strong-self regulation can ensure that fundraising can continue in a way that is in everyone’s interests.”


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