The PFRA runs its own complaints procedure. This is mainly intended for use by local authority officers to report breaches of site management agreements – for instance, should fundraisers stray out of their designated areas. We are usually able to rectify such breaches in a matter of hours, sometimes – often, even – minutes.
Members of the public who want to complain about a breach of the Institute of Fundraising Face-to-Face Activity Code of Fundraising Practice are recommended to take their complaint directly to the charity, as it is ultimately the charity itself that is responsible for the actions of its staff or agents. Importantly, most of PFRA’s major charity members are also members of the Fundraising Standards Board. The FRSB exists to adjudicate on any complaint made to one of its member charities that the member cannot resolve to the satisfaction of the complainant.
In addition, although our primary regulatory remit is to act as the interface between charities and local authorities, we will also investigate code breaches that are made directly to us by members of the public. We aim to resolve all such complaints within seven days.
Any complaint from a member of the public that we cannot resolve to the complainant’s satisfaction can be taken to the Fundraising Standards Board.
On average, we handle around three complaints per month of all types (code and SMA breaches for street, door and prospecting). The FRSB reports that its members received 227 complaints about street F2F in 2008 and 312 in 2009. FRSB members also reported 479 complaints against doorstep F2F in 2008 and 2,106 in 2009.