Charity chugger fines come into force

Charities could face thousands of pounds worth of fines if ‘chuggers’ don’t stick within strict new rules issued by the fundraising watchdog.

Street Fundraising

The new rules include sanctions for chuggers making a person ‘stop involuntarily or change direction’, approach people who are ‘on duty’, such as newspaper vendors, or people who are seated, and standing within 3 metres of a shop doorway, pedestrian crossing, cashpoint or station entrance.

Charities or fundraising agencies acting on their behalf will be penalised with points against their names each time a breach of the new rules is reported to the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA). Each breach will attract 20, 50 or 100 points depending on the severity.

Financial penalties of £1 per point kick-in when an organisation accumulates 1000 points. Any following breaches within 12 months would be fined at the same rate. A combination of agreements with local authorities and the use of mystery shopper companies will be used to check-up on chuggers around the country.

The PFRA also intends to publish information naming breachers and those that have been fined but have not yet concluded the best way to collate and share such data in a ‘transparent’ and ‘informative’ way, says a spokesman.

The system launches today following a six month trial period. A similar penalty and fine system is currently being trialled for door to door fundraising.

The rule book is designed to add weight to to the Institute of Fundraising’s code of practice.

Survey respondents told Marketing Week last year that they prefer less intrusive methods of fundraising.

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