The Institute of Fundraising is claiming its fight to clean up street fundraising – so-called chugging – is paying dividends, with the number of penalties dished out for breaches of rules falling for the fourth year in succession.
The IoF conducted 922 mystery shopper spot checks between April 2016 and March 2017 to see whether fundraisers were complying with the rules and with any site-management agreements, awarding penalty points for each breach of the rules they found.
The data for 2016/17 shows that the average number of penalties issued during each street fundraiser compliance check fell to 28 points, from 52 points the year before, a drop of almost 50%.
But 35% of the mystery shopper checks last year led to some kind of penalty after a breach was discovered. This, however, represented a fall for the fourth year in a row, the IoF said, from 58% in the 2013/14 financial year.
If an organisation is handed 1,000 penalty points or more during the course of a year, it is fined £1 per point acquired. But, while the IoF confirmed some fines were issued, it was unable to provide details.
The organisation cited the success of the expanding site management agreements (SMAs) between charity fundraisers, the IoF and hundreds of local authorities across the UK for the improvement.
It said: “These mutual agreements limit and manage street fundraising in our city and town centres and have been successful in improving and maintaining best practice and high standards.” There are 126 agreements in place with local authorities across the UK.
Peter Hills-Jones, director of compliance at IoF, said: “Previously, as the Public Fundraising Association and now as the Institute of Fundraising’s compliance directorate, we are working with and supporting members every day to ensure their engagement with the public is always a positive one.
“These numbers are a credit to our members and show that, when the sector works together with rules that are clearly understood and regularly monitored, we see impressive results.”
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