New Rules for Fundraising in the Field
Published by Elliot Green in Wonderful
Fundraising is a noble pursuit, a fine art, and often an infuriating balancing-act between wanting to spread the word of worthy causes, trying to turn slack-tivists into activists without harassing, not breaking any of the many (necessary) rules which exist to regulate fundraising.
Many of these rules come directly from the Fundraising Regulator, an independent body which sets standards for fundraising, and deals with complaints when these standards may not be met, investigating these cases and taking necessary remedial actions when needed.
It is the Fundraising Regulator which recently unveiled a new set of guidelines for fundraising - specifically, for fundraising on privately-owned property.
It comes after a review which it carried out with the Institute of Fundraising, which found that the existing street fundraising rulebook addressed fundraising practices on the highstreet, but did not set guidelines for fundraising in private sites like shopping centres, supermarkets, schools, etc.
The rules for these practices, as well as street and door-to-door fundraising have therefore been updated to ensure maximum coherence amongst all the different guidelines and regulations which exist for fundraising, and to maintain maximum relevance and efficiency for the public.
In general, the regulations for fundraising on private sites merely specify that this practice is subject to the same rules as street fundraising: that fundraisers identify themselves and their activity obviously, not to obstruct any businesses or members of the public, that any possible donors have full access to the necessary information when they are approached for money. Of course, fundraisers are also warned not to elicit feelings of alarm, panic, or anxiety in members of the public, or to bring their charitable organisation into disrepute in any other way.
Basically, then, the new regulations arent really anything to worry about. If you were carrying out your fundraising in privately-owned land as well as or instead of public property, it just means that you need to make sure you are behaving as you doubtless already were - as any person carrying out face-to-face fundraising almost instinctively would. The regulations are merely to formalise these requirements so that they extend to all face-to-face fundraising. As Suzanne McCarthy, the chair of the regulators standards committee, said herself, the new rulebook simply aims to ensure that there is a clear and consistent set of standards across all face-to-face fundraising.
If anything, it should merely help you to make sure that you are presenting yourself and your charity in the best way possible, allowing you to maximise the efficiency of your fundraising techniques and thus collect more money for worthy causes without damaging the reputation of charity fundraisers or upsetting the public. After all, as weve mentioned before many charities are struggling to survive, and they require efficient and ethical fundraising practices to instil public trust and ensure they can keep doing their wonderful work!
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