IoF and PFRA take big step forward to full merger

IoF and PFRA logos

17 March 2016

The Institute of Fundraising and Public Fundraising Association have this week taken the next step to completing their planned merger. This would enshrine best practice at the heart of the IoF’s future strategy and provide a range of new compliance services and support for the whole membership. It will also see investment in the IoF’s role as the voice of the fundraising community.


Both Boards have unanimously endorsed the move as in the best interests of the fundraising community, and the Heads of Terms document has been signed by both the Chairs and the Chief Executives of both bodies. A final decision to ratify the merger agreement will take place at the PFRA’s AGM on 15 June, with the merger due to be completed by 31 of July.

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. The full Heads of Terms document is not being released publicly for reasons of commercial confidentiality.  In summary the key details are as follows: 

  • The current Chief Executive of the PFRA, Peter Hills-Jones, will take up a new position as Director of Fundraising Compliance within 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.


  • The IoF 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.


  • The IoF will appoint a Trustee from a public fundraising agency with expertise in fundraising compliance. 


  • The reserves and assets of the PFRA will be transferred to the IoF.  These will be ring-fenced under a three year agreement ending 31st July 2019, and used by the IoF for the purposes of supporting and furthering compliance in public fundraising.


  • A significant first step has already been taken by the PFRA, with the establishment of a mystery shopping programme for private site fundraising. Launching on 1 April, the pilot programme will last for six months and gather vital information on current standards.


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. We look forward to discussing these exciting proposals with the PFRA’s membership over the next few months.”


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.”