Street fundraising standards have fallen, says PFRA

20 Jun 2012 News

The quality of street face-to-face fundraising has decreased over the past few years, according to the monitoring records compiled by the PFRA.

The quality of street face-to-face fundraising has decreased over the past few years, according to the monitoring records compiled by the PFRA.

At the annual general meeting of the regulatory body yesterday afternoon, Nick Henry, head of standards and allocations, noted that the monthly scores obtained by mystery shopping street fundraising teams have been dropping since January 2009.

And the numbers of donors who sign up but never make a payment has increased too.

Research presented by the PFRA at the AGM showed that the average monthly scores have fallen from above 94 per cent to 89 per cent. In his submission to the PFRA annual report, Henry wrote that the organisation expects fundraisers to get scores of 90 per cent.

Asked whether he really thought the quality of street fundraising was in decline, Henry replied: “Honestly? Yeah.

“There is a clear downward trend in street fundraising quality control.”

This downward trend is set against a , as reported in the PFRA annual report released yesterday, which were up nearly 40 per cent last year.

Henry attributed the decline to the fact that street fundraising “has got harder”. He said that increased difficulty in recruiting donors, as well as increased demand by charities to engage in street fundraising and the fact that it is difficult to recruit and retain good quality street fundraising staff, meant that standards were under pressure.

“I’m going to have to arrest that,” he said.

In his report, Henry wrote: “Clearly this is something that concerns us and our new strategy and business plan have proposed several measures aimed at addressing this issue.”

Figures show a slight improvement over the past 12 months.

He dismissed suggestions that the decline was a result of changes to the way that quality levels are assessed, but remarked there was often a difference in fundraising quality between sites.

No-show rate increases

Presenting the annual Donor Acquisition and Retention Survey (DARS), Future Fundraising’s Rupert Tappin and Morag Fleming revealed a second concerning trend for both street and door fundraising, for the calendar year 2010.

The annual survey found a marked spike in the number of donors who sign up with a fundraiser either on the street or doorstep, but fail to make any payment, known as ‘no-shows’.

“The no-show rate has gone up considerably,” said Fleming.

The rate of no-shows for street fundraising in 2010 stood at nearly 30 per cent and just over 20 per cent for doorstep-recruited donors.

Thirty charities reported their data into the DARS report, which represents just over a quarter of the PFRA membership and less than half of all members which ran face-to-face campaigns in 2010. 

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