New guidance will ban fundraisers cold calling if householders request it
Charity fundraisers will no longer be allowed to knock on doors displaying “no cold callers” signs.
The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) made the move in response to a recommendation from the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) for the body to be clearer on its guidance on door-to-door fundraising.
IoF’s code of conduct will now be amended to incorporate the new guidance.
It will also include the new rule that a fundraiser must not ignore a request to leave a property, or a request not to return.
The wording of the new rule in the IoF’s Code of Practice will state: “Fundraisers must not knock on any door of a property that prominently displays a sticker or sign which includes the words No Cold Calling."
This change to the code will take effect from 1 September.
As charities we have to always be conscious about how we ask for money - Richard Taylor
Revised guidance on the behaviour of fundraisers conducting door-to-door fundraising in collaboration with the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) will also be issued.
All fundraising bodies have come under heightened pressure to review their guidance following the death of pensioner Olive Cooke.
The 92 year old poppy seller died shortly after saying she felt pressured about the amount of requests for charity donations she was receiving.
Commenting on the new rules, Richard Taylor, chair of the IoF, said: “It is right that we have introduced a new rule to stop charity door to door fundraisers knocking on doors with no cold calling stickers.
“As charities we have to always be conscious about how we ask for money and it is absolutely essential that as part of this we respect the wishes and preferences of the public."
Peter Hills-Jones, chief executive of the PFRA, said the new guidance would make the rules for fundraisers clearer.
“The majority of our members already observe such stickers, as shown by the fact that only 5% of door-to-door complaints are about them being ignored,” he said.
“However, today’s announcement shows that self-regulation can effectively balance the needs of charities and the public who so generously support them.
The move comes as two Labour peers put forward an amendment to England and Wales’ charities (protection and social investment) bill that fundraising charities must register with the FRSB.
Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town and Lord Watson of Invergowrie propose the insertion of a new clause that: “all fundraising charities must be members of the Fundraising Standards Board and abide by their Code of Fundraising Practice”.
Charities can currently choose whether they wish to register with the FRSB or not.