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Complaint about charity collection bag not upheld in last FRSB adjudication

Complaint about charity collection bag not upheld in last FRSB adjudication

In its final adjudication, the FRSB has not upheld a complaint about a Salvation Army Trading Limited Company Ltd (SATCoL) clothing collection bag to a household that displayed signage requesting no unsolicited marketing materials.

While the Code of Fundraising Practice does not specifically state whether organisations can deliver collection bags to addresses with signs requesting no such items, the FRSB holds that such signage must be respected and that collection bags should not be delivered. It has recommended further guidance in this area, and the is currently considering whether further guidance is to be developed within the Code for organisations carrying out household charitable collections.

In this case, the complainant contacted SATCoL on 7th December 2015 to object to receiving a collection bag in aid of The Salvation Army, despite a ’cease and desist’ notice displayed on their door requesting no unsolicited marketing materials. The collection bag had been delivered through the Royal Mail’s door-to-door delivery service.

The complainant is the same person who initiated a complaint adjudicated and upheld by the FRSB in August in a case involving NSPCC and Clothes Aid.

During the adjudication, the FRSB found that SATCoL had been respectful in its approach to the public and had made reasonable efforts to ensure that Royal Mail was complying with the Code. The trading company had specifically requested that the Royal Mail and its distributors should not deliver to addresses displaying ‘No junk mail’ signage.

SATCoL was found to have dealt with the complaint itself in a respectful and thorough manner, also having removed the household’s postcode from all future distribution lists to ensure that the complainant received no further charity collection bags. However, the FRSB added that SATCoL should have included a stipulation within its terms of agreement with Royal Mail that its distributors would not approach households displaying such signage.

Since the complaint was raised, SATCoL has advised Royal Mail that they cannot work together on future collection activities unless the postal company confirms that it will not deliver to households displaying a sign requesting no unsolicited mail or materials.

The adjudication report has now been passed to the Fundraising Regulator, which took on regulatory responsibility for charity fundraising and ownership of the Code in July 2016.

Stephen Dunmore, chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator, said:

“The FRSB’s final adjudication again shows how essential it is for charities and their partners to respect the wishes of households that do not want to receive marketing, particularly where a sign has been put up to make this plain. In light of the findings of this adjudication, the Fundraising Regulator will now consider whether the Code needs to be amended.”

The full adjudication report is available on the FRSB site.

This is the final adjudication to be carried out and published by the FRSB prior to its closure at the end of the month. All future adjudications will be made by the Fundraising Regulator.

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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