Birmingham City Council and the Institute of Fundraising have launched the ‘landmark’ agreement for the city on a rolling one-year basis, following a three-month trial, which launched last July. The site management agreement (SMA) will decide where, when, and how many street fundraisers can operate in the city, and will reduce numbers in the city centre.
Birmingham’s agreement joins the other 125 that are already in place with other councils around the country. According to the IoF, nearly 90% of councils surveyed would recommend an agreement to other local authorities.
Peter Hills-Jones IoF compliance director, said:
“Charity fundraisers will warmly welcome today’s important announcement that a well-balanced approach to sustainable fundraising in the city centre has been reached. The success of the pilot highlights that these agreements work for both the public and Britain’s charities. Charity fundraising is more important than ever as charities rely on the generosity and support of the public.”
Chris Neville, head of licensing at Birmingham City Council added:
“Following the success of our trial agreement with the Institute of Fundraising, introduced last July, there’s been a significant reduction in the number of complaints we receive about face-to-face fundraising and its impact on the public and local businesses.
“This new 12-month agreement will see fewer fundraisers in the city centre, which we welcome, and we will continue to work in partnership with IoF going forward.”
Previously, Birmingham City Council had sought to introduce a byelaw to impose restrictions on face-to-face fundraising in the city, but this was turned down in 2014 in a move that was welcomed by the IoF, which recommends SMAs to regulate street and door-to-door fundraising.
Last November, the IoF announced that it had seen a significant improvement in street fundraising standards. The total number of recorded rule infractions by street fundraisers had fallen by 62% in the six months according to its half-year figures, compared to the previous year. While the average number of breaches in 2015/16 was 38 per month, the figure had fallen to 17 per month.
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