Penalty Points System

Employers or contractors of fundraisers accrue penalty points if a rule is broken. Each point accrued has an equivalent value of £1. A monetary bill will be issued when an organisation’s annual points total equals or exceeds 1000 points. Revenue incurred from penalty point fines at the end of each financial year is re-invested into training and development to improve standards within public fundraising.


Every rule contained in the Rule Book for street and private site fundraising carries a penalty of 200, 100, 50 or 20 points. These rules are grouped into two types:

  • Rules for Fundraisers – relating to the conduct of fundraisers engaging with the public (prefixed “Fr”)
  • Rules for Operational Staff – relating to wider organisational practices, the operations of diaries and Site Management Agreements with local authorities (prefixed “Op”)


Compliance visit

A compliance visit is a mystery shop by one of IoF’s official contractors or a site check by a member of the IoF’s Compliance Directorate. Points awarded as a result of breaches reported by council officers at local authorities that have a Site Management Agreement or as observed by a member of the IoF’s compliance team are not included in the benchmark. This is because official compliance visits run through a formal checklist of potential rule breaches, whereas ad hoc reports are one-offs that would artificially lower the benchmark were they included.


The benchmark

Each year, the Compliance Directorate compiles a benchmark of the penalties issued during the proceeding 12 months, which is based on the average number of penalty points issued per compliance visit.

Relevant IoF members (fundraising agencies and charities running in-house teams) are given their own individual average compliance scores, plus their average scores for fundraiser and operational rules.

IoF organisational members (charities) will also be given details of the penalty points issued by their provider agencies while working on their campaigns.