Tuesday 27 September 2016

New rules need to be balanced says NGO

Published 24/08/2015 | 02:30

Concern Charity workers on Parnell Street in Dublin attempting to get people to support the charity
Concern Charity workers on Parnell Street in Dublin attempting to get people to support the charity

New legislation that is currently being drawn up in a bid to curtail the activities of on street charity collectors, or so-called 'chuggers', needs to be balanced, according to a third world aid agency.

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Concern fundraising manager Jim Howe, says the new laws aimed at legislating the practice - which nets charities up to €30m a year - must be fair.

"We have to strike a balance," he stressed. "Some people don't like the ads on TV, or the radio ads, some people don't like being approached on the street and some people don't like us coming to their door - we try to have a mix and not be too dependent on any one approach.

"Fundraising Ireland did a survey early this year which found most charities are relying on the street collections for about a third of their public income.

"For Concern, we have about €10m a year from regular givers, some of whom signed the direct debit mandate five or 10 years ago," he said.

"These are our long-term givers, and they are crucial. Many of them were signed up on the street."

Some collectors have been criticised in the past for pestering members of the public with different collectors approaching them every few yards. They do not currently need Garda permits in the same way that charities that make cash collections do.

A code of practice is being drawn up that will specify what practices collectors can engage in when looking for donations. The new laws will come into effect some time next year.

Irish Independent

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