New IoF stats show major improvement to street fundraising standards

Written by Matt Ritchie

There has been a marked reduction in the number of recorded rule breaches by street fundraisers, according to new figures from the Institute of Fundraising.

First half figures announced by the IoF yesterday revealed overall recorded rule infractions by street fundraisers fell by 62 per cent compared to last year.

The average number of breaches has fallen to 17 per month, IoF said, compared to 38 per month in 2015/16.

Recorded breaches for failure to provide solicitation statements had fallen by 74 per cent. Many rules, including around wearing clearly branded clothing or approaching members of the public while they work, had seen zero reported breaches.

Announcing the statistics, the IoF said it carries out over 2000 undercover ‘mystery shops’ across the UK each year. IoF Compliance, the directorate within the institute created following the merger with the Public Fundraising Association in September, leads on continuing the PFRA’s work with members to improve standards in public fundraising.

IoF Compliance director Peter Hills-Jones said members had stepped up to the challenge to improve standards.

“I congratulate everyone who has contributed to this huge improvement, it is proof that self-regulation can be effective. Charities and their agency partners, if they’re members of the IoF, are making a strong commitment to high quality and sustainable fundraising.”

Fundraising Regulator chief executive Stephen Dunmore welcomed the improvements to street fundraising revealed by the figures.

“Better practice by charities and the agencies that work for them, treating donors with respect, will encourage trust and confidence when the public is asked by street fundraisers to consider donating.”

Further plans to improve standards include an IoF consultation on plans for a new accreditation programme designed to further strengthen fundraising standards. The programme will apply to all public fundraising agencies and any charity operating an in-house public fundraising team.

The IoF will also be consulting members on establishing a permanent mystery shopping programme for private site fundraising.

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