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13 December 2010
The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (PFRA) has this month re-launched its ePolitix.com microsite as it redoubles its efforts to lobby parliamentarians during a year that could be a turning point for the charity sector.
The site has been totally revamped, with more detailed information about PFRA's role in regulating face-to-face (F2F) fundraising – often known as 'chugging'.
Dr Toby Ganley, PFRA's head of policy, says he hopes the revamp will help the PFRA find a parliamentary 'champion' for this form of charity fundraising.
"2011 will be a massively important year for charities," he says. “The government is reviewing the Charities Act 2006, including how – and indeed whether – to implement the parts of the act that are not yet in force, which includes the unified licensing regime for all types of street fundraising.
"At the same time, the Charity Commission is facing having its budget cut by a third and is strategically reviewing its remit and might not be able to undertake the additional roles it has been given in the act.
"So not only do we need to prepare for all the variables this year could throw up, we also need to meet as many parliamentarians as we can to explain what this will mean for their constituents."
Dr Ganley adds: "We've already had meetings with a number of MPs but we can only go so far. What we would really like to do is find a champion in either House who will be able to totally get to grips with the licensing and regulatory implications, and be able to lead on these issues.
"It is fair to say that there is some ignorance and a lot of myth about 'chuggers' and how they work. We hope we can change that, and we'll be happy to meet anyone who wants to know more about this essential form of fundraising. We have had some really promising discussions with the MPs we have met so far."
New sections on the ePolitix.com site include: a researcher's toolkit, which contains bite-sized pieces of information about F2F fundraising and the PFRA, a policy news feed, giving up-to-date information about ongoing policy meetings and discussions, and a box that shows the local authority areas where PFRA is currently negotiating for fundraising access.