Govt to be lobbied on fundraising policy

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA), the charity-led body that oversees street fundraising, is to launch a PR offensive to persuade the Government not to interfere in the activity.

The body, which was set up by the Institute of Fundraising to regulate the development of public fundraising, has appointed Hill & Knowlton to spearhead a campaign to lobby government ministers against moves to regulate face-to-face fundraising.

The Government’s Performance and Innovation Unit is to publish its recommendations on the practice later this year, and the PFRA is hoping to persuade MPs to soften any measures that might make face-to-face fundraising more difficult.

‘Direct debit payment is an incredibly safe way to make a donation,’ said director of the PFRA Sue Brumpton. ‘We have a very strict code of conduct in place, and we have already set up agreements between charities to regulate how much this kind of fundraising happens’.

Brumpton said that as well as lobbying Parliament, the agency will assist in shoring up media support.

‘There have been a couple of articles where journalists have gone undercover to get a story, and it is obvious from the headlines that they wanted to find fault with the practice,’ she added.

H&K account director Alison Culshaw said the agency’s strategy would be to target the Government, to make them aware of the impact of any new legislation on organisations that depend on face-to-face fundraising for the bulk of their funds.

Last year such fundraisers, which seek direct-debit commitment from the public, recruited 690,000 new donors, who on average, it is claimed, gave £340 each over a 12-month period. For some charities these donations make up 70 per cent of their income.

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