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charities l National Exemption Orders l ethical approaches O RST e P dO C Doorstep fundraising provides a vital, long-term source of income for charities in the UK. Steve Service explains how regulators are working with trading standards to ensure guidelines are followed L ast year, more than 600,000 doorstep donors signed up to committed giving through direct debits to charities. At a time when charities are increasingly being asked to fill the gaps in local authority services, doorstep fundraising represents an essential source of income that can make a huge difference to our communities both in terms of what charities can provide, and how effectively they can plan for the future. The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) is the membership body for charities and professional fundraisers that conduct direct-debit, face-to-face fundraising. Many of our members such as Macmillan The PFRA emphasises Cancer Support, Marie Curie and Age UK trading standards work closely with the elderly and vulnerable in our society. advice on Cold However, as a corporate member of TSI, Calling Zones and stickers, to the PFRA has as dual role as a regulator, ensure its members are maintaining professional standards, and sensitive to residents in areas ensuring fundraising is fair and proportionate. where these apply Raising standards Unless a fundraising organisation holds a National Exemption Order (NEO)*, anyone soliciting a commitment to donate on the doorstep requires a local authority license. The PFRA is acutely aware of the importance of reducing the risk that rogue traders, and other fraudsters, pose to elderly and vulnerable people. While charities in law are not classed as traders, the PFRAs rulebook on doorstep fundraising emphasises the advice of trading standards on both Cold Calling Zones and stickers, to ensure its members are sensitive to residents in areas where these apply. Since 2009, charities and agencies conducting doorstep fundraising are required to uphold the face-to-face provisions of the Institute of Fundraisings Code of Fundraising Practice. These include conduct rules on Cold Calling Zones, financial transparency and managing vulnerability. This is particularly important when it is reasonable to believe a potential donor may be incapable of informed consent. More widely, the code sets out conditions such as the hours between which fundraisers may operate, and the maximum size of fundraising teams. In the past year, the PFRA has invested in a programme of on-the-job shadowing, to understand how its rules are embedded in fundraising organisations, and how they are put into practice in local areas. better fundraising The PFRA is keen to foster a more collaborative approach between its regulatory partners, charities and the local communities in which it works. Its recommending that local authorities include links to the PFRA website and a list of fundraising organisations holding an NEO as part oftheir guidance to local residents on doorstep trading. It is also keento hear fromauthorities whose residents have experienced issues with doorstep fundraising. To discuss opportunities for closer collaboration, or to request furtherinformation on the PFRAs work, contactSteve Service by email or call 0207 401 8452. * A National Exemption Order enables large, national charity organisations to carry out house-to-house collections without applying for a licence every time a collection is made. Information about the scheme in general is available from the UK government website, while further details on charity exemptions can be foundhere. Credits Published Steve Service is an outreach officer at the 25 November, 2014 To share this page, click on in the toolbar Public Fundraising Regulatory Association. Images: bikeriderlondon / Shutterstock TS TODAY TeP CRIM e Friends in need RS e dOOR S IM R l O In this feature CRIMe d O eP T PFRA "