PFRA announces 2009/10 F2F sign up figures

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association  – the self-regulatory body for all types of face-to-face (F2F) fundraising in the UK – today announces the end of year activity results for F2F.

With the final few weeks of 2009/10 still to be compiled, F2F sign-ups on the street and door are recorded at almost 625,000 (and are estimated to close at around 650,000*). This represents a fall of just under 16 per cent on the 741,000* sign-ups for 2008/09, but still suggests an upward trend in the successful use of F2F as this year’s results are significantly higher than 2007/08’s 587,000.

Door 2009/10 2008/09 Change % Change
London 65,856 49,411 16,445 33.28
Outside London 349,185 430,500 -81,315 -18.89
Scotland 32,245 38,844 -6,559 -16.99
Total 447,286 518,755 -71,429 -13.78
Street 2009/10 2008/09 Change % Change
London 92,089 123,898 -31,809 -25.67
Outside London 76,702 90,878 -14,176 -15.6
Scotland 8,874 7,139 1,734 24.3
Total 177,665 221,914 44,250 -19.94
2009/10 2008/09 Change % Change
Total 624,951 740,670 -115,679 -15.62

PFRA’s ceo Mick Aldridge says: “The year 2008/09 really was an exceptional year and it was unlikely we would hit those heights again. But F2F sign-ups are still extremely high. Many charities have been using this type of fundraising for up to 10 years, some for longer, and have the returns on investments to go with it. F2F signs-ups are high because charities are choosing to put their acquisition budgets into this type of fundraising. It is totally demand-led.

“However, the drop in both the overall numbers of new donors and those recruited on the street is attributable in large part to the collapse of Dialogue Direct UK in October 2009. Dialogue Direct had been delivering around a quarter of all new donors signed up on the street. Although new agencies have moved in, Dialogue’s sudden absence was bound to have an impact.”

The trend for more donors to be recruited at the door continues.

Michael Naidu, assistant director of fundraising at Mencap and PFRA’s acting chair says: “The continued rise of doorstep F2F throws up a number of challenges for the PFRA. We already know from talking to Modena – the firm that consulted on the implementation of the Charities Act for the Office of the Third Sector – that the biggest concern for local authorities are doorstep callers of all types. Cold Calling Control Zones (CCCZS) are sprouting up around the country. And complaints about doorstep F2F to FRSB members were apparently up by 340 per cent in 2009.

“We are fully aware of the challenges that might confront doorstep F2F and we are already preparing to meet them. PFRA has already begun working with the Trading Standards Institute to map CCCZs and, over the course of this year, we will examine options for extending our mystery shopping programme of street F2F to the doorstep.”

The 2009/10 figures will be officially announced at the PFRA’s AGM to be held in London today.

* PFRA calculates sign-ups through our levy returns (PFRA members pay a levy for every donor recruited). We are therefore extremely confident about the accuracy of our figures. However, we are still accumulating data for the last quarter of the year by the time the financial year closes, which means we then have to estimate those final figures. Last year, we underestimated our final figure to be 681,000 when the actual figure was the 740,670 reported here.

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