This month sees the roll-out of the Code of Practice for Face to Face Fundraising (Ireland edition 2014). It has been created by Ireland’s Face To Face Forum (formerly the IFFDR – the Irish Fundraising Forum for Direct Recruitment).
As part of Total Fundraising I am proud to be part of the forum, alongside the respectable charities and agencies who put time and resources in to being involved.
Code of Practice for Face to Face Fundraising
This Code of Practice applies to Face to Face fundraising to secure committed regular gifts for charity and non-profit organisations in the Irish market. This code applies to unsolicited personal approaches to members of the public in public places and should be understood in the context of “non-cash collections” in the Charities Act 2009, and when implemented, amendments to the Street and House to House Collections Act 1962.
The purpose of face to face fundraising is to secure vital regular and committed donations for the good work of charities. Face to face fundraising provides effective, secure and appropriate means by which the public can demonstrate their committed support to a charity, through their bank account, credit card, mobile phone or other means of electronic giving.
The Code of Practice for Face to Face Fundraising aims to ensure the highest standard of face to face fundraising in an effective and sympathetic manner for a charity without causing public nuisance or disturbance.
- Manage fundraising activity to ensure that approaches are undertaken in compliance with legal requirements (including employment law), and with this Code of Practice.
- Respect the dignity of our profession and ensure that our actions enhance the reputation of ourselves and the profession of fundraising.
- Ensure our fundraisers understand the emphasis on the charity’s reputation, and the nonaggressive nature of all approaches.
- Provide adequate procedures to protect the health and safety of our fundraisers and the public (including procedures when a fundraiser is invited into a premises).
- Seek to ensure that all who work with us have appropriate levels of competence and training to represent charity and carry out their fundraising duties.
- Work with all other organisers operating a location management group, to avoid overburdening the public with face to face approaches, to ensure fair and equal access to fundraising sites, and to liaise with any future authority for permissions.
- Ensure fundraising will only occur in the time and place agreed by the site location management group. All issues or changes, and any breach of agreement will be reported to the site location management group.
- Comply with data protection law and have procedures to ensure there is appropriate care and protection of confidential data.
- Ensure that any form being used clearly displays confirmation outlining recipient details and donation schedule prior to the first gift.
- Have a feedback and complaints procedure for addressing questions and complaints associated with our face to face fundraising.
- Comply with, and encourage colleagues to embrace and practice this Code of Practice.
- Bring credit to charity and the fundraising profession by our public demeanour, conducting ourselves at all times with complete integrity, honesty and trustworthiness.
- Verbally inform the donor that we are paid professional fundraisers, including who we are employed by, and who we represent. This must be done by the fundraiser before the donor completes the form.
- Wear ID badges, visible at all times, with the charity’s name, CHY number, the fundraiser’s name, who we are working for and on whose behalf we are fundraising.
- Never knowingly or maliciously give false or misleading information to the public about any other charity or our employer.
- Never follow members of the public to engage them in conversation. Never cause obstruction or congestion in a public or private place, or to a doorway or passageway.
- Be sensitive in conversation and not put undue pressure on the public to donate. Fundraisers will politely terminate a conversation at any stage, if asked to do so.
- Never approach a member of the public with more than two fundraisers at a time. This includes supervisors and trainee fundraisers.
- Exercise caution and sensitive judgement if confronted with potentially vulnerable people. Face to face fundraisers will not knowingly sign up any person who we reasonably conclude may be incapable of informed consent.
- Never enter a premises or household unless invited, and exercise caution and sensitive judgement if invited to enter a household or premises.
- Make sure the donor is not under 18 years of age and that all donors understand that the purpose of this fundraising is to secure recurring, long-term donations.
- Accept no cash, cheques, or property. Cash collections can only be accepted by fundraisers if they have a valid cash collection permit.
- Inform the donor how the charity will communicate with them after subscribing, and that they will receive confirmation of any direct debit with advance notice of the payment schedule.
- Comply with data protection law and confidentiality agreements with the organiser. Fundraisers will ensure donor information and charity branded material are kept secure at all times.
- Never fundraise after 9pm (unless specifically requested by a member of the public, and agreed by the organiser).
- Provide a clear point of contact for the general public, if they have complaints or feedback. Fundraisers will comply with the complaints procedure as instructed by the organiser of the face to face fundraising.