New Rulebook launched to help improve fundraising on Private Sites

Fundraising Regulator

9 August 2017

Face to face fundraising is an important way for many charities to meet potential supporters. A recent process to look at the standards for face-to-face fundraising carried out by the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) and the Fundraising Regulator found that, while there are well established standards for fundraising on high streets, there was also a need for a new rulebook to cover privately owned sites, such as shopping centres and supermarkets. As a result, from today, the Fundraising Regulator has introduced a new rulebook for private site fundraising.

Like the existing rulebook for street fundraisers, the new rulebook focuses on site specific standards which apply to fundraisers working in local areas. This includes:

- Positioning fundraising teams to avoid obstructing pedestrians and disrupting businesses.
- Being clearly identifiable as a fundraiser, wearing an identification badge and, where appropriate, charity branded clothing.
- Avoiding behaviours that could cause members of the public to become startled or anxious, or bring the charity represented into disrepute.

The new rulebook follows a drive by the Institute of Fundraising and its members to help improve practice in private site fundraising. As part of this a new private site ‘mystery shopping’ programme to check high standards are being adhered to has been introduced across the country.

Peter Hills-Jones, Director of Compliance at the Institute of Fundraising said:

“Private site fundraising is vital for many of our members, who are all committed to meeting the highest standards. This new rulebook will therefore be a welcome tool to help fundraisers, and together with the Institute of Fundraising’s mystery shopping programme shows the strength of self-regulation. By working in partnership with the Fundraising Regulator, we are further improving the sustainability of this important form of fundraising.”

Suzanne McCarthy, Chair Standards Committee, Fundraising Regulator, said:

“The new private site rulebook, developed in consultation with fundraisers, is designed to ensure that there is a clear and consistent set of standards across all face-to face-fundraising, regardless of whether it takes place in public or in privately owned spaces. We look forward to continuing our work with fundraisers and thank them for their support.”

The existing rulebooks for street and door-to-door fundraisers have also been updated to strengthen the links between the rulebooks and the Code of Fundraising Practice.

The revised versions distinguish between the Fundraising Regulator’s public-facing role and the operational compliance role carried out by the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) with its members, clarifying that the Fundraising Regulator will deal with public concerns through its standard complaints procedure.

The revised rulebooks will also reference compliance arrangements between the Institute of Fundraising and its members such as its Site management diaries, Site Management agreements with local authorities and penalty points system. However, rules relating to the operation of these arrangements will be relocated to the Institute of Fundraising website.

Stephen Service, Policy Manager, Fundraising Regulator, said:

“The Fundraising Regulator is responsible for overseeing the public facing aspects of the rulebooks. Our latest revisions to the street and door-to-door rulebooks reflect this role more clearly by ensuring that all rules included are relevant to the public.”

For more information on the face-to-face fundraising rulebooks