All F2F fundraisers are required to comply with best practice as laid down in the Institute of Fundraising’s Code of Fundraising Practice and its associated guidance.
This code and guidance set out best practice for the use of fundraising media such as direct mail, challenge events, telephones, electronic media and the like. It also covers areas such as payment of fundraisers, working with companies, accepting or refusing donations, working with third parties, and the telephone recruitment of collectors.
Of all the types of fundraising covered in the code of practice, face-to-to face fundraising is unique in that it has a dedicated organisation – the PFRA – that has been set up to enforce it.
All individual members of the Institute of Fundraising are required to abide by the codes of practice. All employees of organisational members of the PFRA are required to abide the code of practice and guidance, irrespective of whether they are individual are members of the Institute. This includes any fundraising organisation this is subcontracted by a PFRA member but not itself a PFRA member.
Section 16 of the IoF code relates to street and doorstep F2F fundraising (it also covers collections for cash and goods). This section stipulates, among other things, that:
- Collectors ought not to pressurise the public to give their support, but they can use reasonable persuasion
- Collectors ought not to approach individuals that may reasonably be considered to be vulnerable adults.
- Collectors ought to, when asked to do so, terminate their approach in a polite manner.
And of course, the code stipulates that charities must at all times be compliant with relevant laws.
The guidance contains further details on how fundraisers should conduct themselves. For example, it elaborates on the requirement to terminate an approach by saying that:
If a person clearly and obviously indicates – by words or gestures – that they do not wish to be engaged by a fundraiser – either at the initial approach or during a conversation/engagement – the fundraiser should desist from the engagement and make no further attempt to engage that person.
Until November 2011, the Institute of Fundraising published 29 standalone codes of practice, one of which related specifically to face-to-face fundraising. This was first published in 2000 and was revised in 2005, 2008 and 2009. In autumn 2011, the PFRA introduced new ‘Rule Books’ for both street and doorstep face-to-face fundraising that provided extra guidance based on the 2009 iteration of face-to-face fundraising code of practice.
In November 2011, the IoF unified all these codes into a single code, at which point most of the PFRA Rule Books were incorporated into the code’s guidance. They are the basis for PFRA’s penalties and sanctions regime, against which we award relevant penalty points and are available in full from the Best Practice for Street F2F ad Best Practice or Doorstep F2F sections of our website.