Norfolk Trading Standards has received a number of contacts regarding doorstep cold calling by people claiming to be working for, or on behalf of, a charity in recent days.
Many genuine charities use door to door fundraising as a way of looking to gather financial support to support their good causes. This can include one-off collections of cash and goods, asking for direct debit commitments or sales of lottery ticket. These activities are carried out by volunteers, charity employees and professional fundraisers.
The Fundraising Regulator and the Institute of Fundraising both provide guidance to charities undertaking these types of fundraising activities.
In regards to cold calling at properties this includes:
- Fundraisers MUST NOT ignore a request to leave or a request not to return
- Fundraisers MUST NOT knock on any door of a property that displays a sticker or sign which includes the words ‘No Cold Calling’
- Fundraisers MUST NOT cold call within a legitimately created No Cold Calling Zone
Trading Standards offers the following advice on charity doorstep cold callers:
- If you are cold called by a charity fundraiser and you do not wish to donate, politely but confidently decline the offer, ask the person to leave and then close the door
- If the cold caller attempts to persist the cold call again, politely but confidently decline the offer, ask the person to leave and close the door
- If the cold caller does not leave your property when asked, is acting aggressively or repeatedly returning to your property, contact Norfolk Police on 101
- If your property displays a No Cold Calling sticker and you are cold called by a charity fundraiser please report this to Trading Standards via our partners the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06
- If you are cold called by a charity fundraiser and you are considering donating make sure you:
1. Ask to see and check the ID of the cold caller – If they do not have any or are unwilling for it to be checked do not deal with them
2. Ask which charity they are collecting for - is it a genuine charity? If you’re not sure you can check on the Charity Commission website
3. Ask if they are an employee/volunteer for the charity or a company working on behalf of the charity
4. Ask how much of your donation will go to support the charity
5. If they are collecting cash they should have a House to House collection licence issued by your local council or be on the National exemption order scheme
6. If they are offering Direct Debit donation they do not need a licence but think carefully before giving personal and financial details to someone who cold called at your property. Will this information be safe and used correctly?
Complaints about Charity fundraisers should initially be made to the Charity the collector is working for or on behalf of. If you are unhappy with the response and wish to take your complaint further, information on how to do this can be can be found on the Gov Uk website.