This type of fundraising by personal solicitation of committed gifts raises millions of pounds per annum for charity and good causes. It gives people the opportunity to give small regular donations by direct debit which charities consider to be a convenient, tax efficient and cost effective method for both the charity and the donor.
Charity street collections are regulated under the Police, Factories etc. (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1916 but because no money changes hands at the time of signing the direct debit forms it falls outside these provisions. The government recognised the need for this type of fundraising to be regulated and included provisions within the Charities Act 2006. However, these are not expected to be implemented any time soon.
In the interim the industry recognised the need for self regulation and the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) was formed.
Site Management Agreement with PFRA
Following concerns with the conduct of certain charity fundraisers in the High Street, Rayleigh area a meeting was held with representatives of the Council, Rayleigh town council and the PFRA when it was suggested that the Council should enter into a Site Management Agreement (SMA) with the PFRA. The aim of the SMA is to facilitate face to face fundraising in given locations and provide a balance between the right of the charity to fundraise and the right of the public to go about their business without inconvenience.
The Council and the PFRA have now signed a Site Management Agreement for High Street, Rayleigh and limits have been agreed on the number of fundraisers on site and the frequency of visits. A diary system is being operated by the PFRA and the SMA will help to minimise the administration involved by providing a channel for information, complaints and sanctions through the PFRA.
The Site Management Agreement can be seen in Related Content.