New rules on street fundraising

A new street fundraising agreement covering responsible face-to-face fundraising in Brighton & Hove comes into force today (Monday 28 January).

The agreement between the council, the Brighton City Centre Business Improvement District (BID) and the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) covers the whole city. 

The agreement limits fundraising to a number of streets in the city centre and sets controls on when fundraising can take place, the number of fundraisers in a location and the frequency of visits a week. 

The aim of the ‘Site Management Agreement’ (SMA) is to provide a balance between the duty of charities as they raise vital funds and the rights of the public not to be put under undue pressure to give.

•   Read the Brighton & Hove Site Management Agreement in full (PDF 816KB)

Getting the balance right

The decision to review the city’s SMA was made at the Neighbourhoods, Inclusion, Communities & Equalities committee on 3 December 2018 following concerns raised about street fundraising in George Street in Hove.

The new agreement means no street fundraising activity will take place in George Street.

Councillor Emma Daniel, chair of the council’s Neighbourhoods, Inclusion, Communities & Equalities committee, said: 

“Street fundraising is an important way for charities to garner support, but we’ve listened to concerns that it has caused problems in some areas. This new site management agreement will help us get the balance right across the city. I‘m very pleased that we’ve been able to work with the Institute of Fundraisers and the Brighton BID to move so quickly on finding a solution.” 

Gavin Stewart, Chief Executive of the Brighton BID said:

“It’s great to be working closely with partners to ensure that charities have the visibility they need to raise funds, while balancing the needs of businesses and the public. We have worked with the IoF for many years now and welcome this new site management agreement, which I’m sure will deliver a better city centre experience for all involved.”

Alex Xavier, Director of Membership, Compliance and Professional Development at the IoF, said:

“I’m pleased that the IoF is working with Brighton & Hove City Council and the city centre Business Improvement District, Brilliant Brighton  to further improve the level of excellent fundraising in the city centre. Face-to-face fundraising and the work charities do to reach supporters in the Brighton & Hove area is vital to raise important funds for the causes the community cares about. 

“The fundraisers you meet on the street are there to have a personal, one-to-one conversation with members of the public to make a connection with a charitable cause. However, it’s important that these encounters are regulated and are pleasant experiences for the public.”

Street fundraising conditions

As well as setting controls on street fundraising, the new SMA also reiterates the Code of Fundraising Practice and the Street Fundraising Rule Book, which reinforce the rules that all fundraisers in the UK should follow. 

The IoF will support their members operating in Brighton & Hove through a programme of spot checks and continued co-regulation with the council partner. Breaches of the conditions of the SMA attract penalty points under our penalties and sanctions regime.