Code of Practice on Face-to-Face Monthly Donors' Recruitment

This Code of Practice provides practical guidelines to charitable institutions for conducting face-to-face (F2F) monthly donors' recruitment in Hong Kong. It is a voluntary code, enforced by the will of each charitable institution accepting it to maintain the standards laid down in the Code. It does not replace nor override any Hong Kong SAR law or charity regulations.

1.Definitions
Face-to-Face (F2F) Monthly Donors' Recruitment
This specifically describes the personal solicitation of monthly donations by direct debits and/or standing orders on the street or in public places, by and/ or on behalf of charitable institutions.
Public Place
Any place where members of the public generally go. It does not include any place to where members of the public are permitted to have access only if payment or ticket or permission is granted as a condition of access.
Charitable Institutions
This refers to organizations that are exempt from tax under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance.
Fundraising Agencies
Refer to agencies that are commissioned or contracted by charitable institutions to carry out or conduct face-to-face monthly donors' recruitment.
Donor Recruiters
Refer to authorized people who approach members of the public and make direct solicitation of monthly donations by direct debits and/or standing orders in public places. They may be employees and/or volunteers of the charitable institutions (usually refer to as "In-House") or employees of the fundraising agencies.
Donor
Refer to a person who contributes money to a cause or a charitable institution.
Prospects
Refer to potential donors who may respond to fundraising appeals.
 
2.Basic Belief of Charitable Institutions
2.1Monthly donations are a vital and stable source of income to support charitable institutions' work or services for the benefit of society. It also enables charitable institutions to continue to carry out their long-term work and services.
2.2F2F activity is one of the effective means to recruit monthly donors for securing stable and growing monthly donation for charitable institutions.
2.3 Charitable institutions should consider and observe the followings whilst delivering F2F monthly donors' recruitment programs no matter by its own employees, volunteers or contracted fundraising agencies:
2.3.1To endeavour to maximize cost effectiveness;
2.3.2To be transparent and accountable to donors in terms of the usage of their personal data and their donation;
2.3.3To ensure that the Donor Recruiters are well trained with a Professional Requirements as in Clause 3 below.
2.4F2F activity is also an effective means to communicate the work of charitable institutions to the general public in a direct and two-way manner.
 
3.Professional Requirements of Donor Recruiters
3.1Core Work Competences
F2F monthly donors' recruitment is a professional duty that requires time commitment and service engagement. Charitable institutions should use a pool of trained personnel as Donor Recruiters. Donor Recruiters should have a comprehensive understanding of the mission, vision, service(s), donation usage, etc. of the charitable institutions they represent, and be able to explain such to members of the public that they approach, no matter whether the recruiters are employees or volunteers of the charitable institutions or staff of assigned fundraising agencies.
3.2 Qualities
Besides the above work competences, Donor Recruiters should also possess the following qualities:
3.2.1Honesty: Donor Recruiters shall at all times act honestly and truthfully so that the public trust is protected and donors and beneficiaries are not misled.
3.2.2Respect: Donor Recruiters shall at all times act with respect for the dignity of their profession, their charitable institutions, donors and beneficiaries.
3.2.3Integrity: Donor Recruiters should comply with this Code of Practice. They shall act openly in regard to their responsibilities for public trust. They shall disclose all actual or potential conflicts of interest and avoid any appearance of personal or professional misconduct.
3.2.4Empathy: Donor Recruiters shall work in a way that promotes their purpose and encourages others to follow the same professional standards and engagement. They shall respect individual privacy, freedom of choice, and diversity in all forms.
3.2.5Transparency: Donor Recruiters shall provide reports about the work they do, the way they handle donors' personal data and donation information, in an accurate and comprehensive manner.
3.3 Professional Conduct
Donor Recruiters should also at all times adhere to the following professional conduct:
3.3.1Present information honestly and without misrepresentation;
3.3.2Ensure the prospects are not coerced to give their support unwillingly;
3.3.3Emphasis on respect for the prospects' decisions and the non-aggressive and non-coercive nature of all approaches;
3.3.4Not engage persons under the age of 16 who have not received written guardian consent with the intention of registering them to monthly donation;
3.3.5Not enter a private residence without prior consent from the owner;
3.3.6Not wear any identification card or uniform supplied by the charitable institution whilst not engaged in the charitable institution's fundraising activity (except travelling to and from the fundraising venue and during meal time on the day of the fundraising activity);
3.3.7Not in any way denigrate the objects of the charitable institution;
3.3.8Not disobey a site agreement entered into by the charitable institution;
3.3.9Not accept cash, cheques, property or personal gifts from prospects on behalf of the charitable institution or in a personal capacity;
3.3.10Not mislead prospects about any matter about the monthly donation registration;
3.3.11Comply with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance governed by The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Hong Kong SAR, to protect the confidentiality of all personal and contact details of prospects, and not to copy the data or release the data to unauthorized people;
3.3.12Comply with all relevant laws in Hong Kong SAR.
 
4.Requirement of Charitable Institutions
4.1Charitable institutions should be transparent to the public about their F2F monthly donors' recruitment activities through various public channels. For example, the public can access information about the date and location(s) of the charitable institutions' donors' recruitment activities, the usage of the donation, administration and fundraising expenditure, etc.
4.2Take account of any site requirements to ensure that public nuisance and congestion are minimized.
4.3Personal safety of both the donor recruiters and prospects in the course of F2F monthly donors' recruitment should be considered.
4.4Ensure employees and/or volunteers assigned to take up F2F monthly donors' recruitment duties comply with this Code of Practice and they are well trained with the Professional Requirements as stated in Clause 3 above.
4.5 When charitable institutions use the services of fundraising agencies to carry out or conduct F2F monthly donors' recruitment, the following should be observed:
4.5.1When entering into a service agreement with fundraising agencies, charitable institutions should make the compliance of this Code of Practice part of the contractual obligations.
4.5.2Fundraising agencies should have in place a set of security measures, in physical and/or electronic storage, to protect the information collected on behalf of the charitable institutions, including but not limited to donors' personal information and donation record.
4.5.3Fundraising agencies should work with the Donor Recruiters with appropriate contracts that fully comply with the Hong Kong SAR Labour Law.
4.5.4Charitable institutions should not pay fundraising agencies based on a percentage of the funds raised.
 
5.Training & Supervision
5.1Charitable institutions and fundraising agencies that carry out or conduct F2F monthly donors' recruitment must conduct training for their Donor Recruiters before they engage in any personal solicitation approaches.
5.2 The training content includes but not limited to the following:
5.2.1this Code of Practice;
5.2.2the charitable institution's mission, vision, service(s), donation usage, fundraising policies and guidelines, etc.;
5.2.3relevant Hong Kong SAR laws and regulations on fundraising1;
5.2.4job-related training, e.g. presentation and communications skills, positive attitude, knowledge and understanding of personal data privacy protection.
5.3Training package should be properly documented, and the training provided to Donor Recruiters should be refreshed and appraised at regular intervals.
5.4Charitable institutions and fundraising agencies are responsible for the supervision of their Donor Recruiters, e.g. regular appraisal of the Donor Recruiters and to conduct spot checks of F2F monthly donors' recruitment.
 
6.Donor Recruiters' Identification
Charitable institutions and fundraising agencies must require Donor Recruiters to clearly display to prospects:
6.1Name and logo (if applicable) of the charitable institution
6.2Name of the fundraising agency
6.3Inquiry phone number of the charitable institution
6.4Donor recruiter's work identity card
 
7.Information Disclosure
7.1 Charitable institutions and fundraising agencies must require Donor Recruiters to:
7.1.1Display permits, licenses or letters of authorization/consent required for a F2F monthly donors' recruitment activity (whenever applicable);
7.1.2Provide prospects with clear information about the cause, the charitable institution and the use of donation, including but not limited to the charitable institution's latest annual report and audited financial statements;
7.1.3Explain to prospects the terms and conditions of the set-up of monthly donation without any misleading messages;
7.1.4Provide clear information to prospects about procedures of handling donation forms; and
7.1.5Disclose the existence of this Code of Practice.
7.2 Upon request, Donor Recruiters must inform prospects of the following information:
7.2.1The existence or otherwise of a charitable institution's policy requiring that a donor's personal and contact details not be exchanged, rented, or otherwise shared by the charitable institution with another person or body corporate without prior written consent of that donor, and that the Donor Recruiters engaged by the charitable institution shall comply with this policy.
7.2.2The procedures for accessing to their records held by the charitable institution.
7.2.3The procedures to amend their personal data and donation instructions.
7.2.4The principle by which Donor Recruiters' remuneration is determined.
 
8.Remunerative Package for Donor Recruiters
8.1Donor Recruiters provide their services either as volunteers or on a salaried basis.
8.2Charitable institutions are prohibited to pay Donor Recruiters based on a percentage of the funds raised.
8.3Donor Recruiters may accept performance-based reward, such as incentives, provided such incentives are in accord with prevailing practices with the charitable institutions and are not based on a percentage of funds raised.
 

References:

  1. Face-to-Face Activity Code of Fundraising Practice. Institute of Fundraising, Dec 2009.
  2. Face-to-Face Fundraising Guidelines (Canada). The Association of Fundraising Professionals.
  3. Standard of Face to Face Fundraising Practice. Fundraising Institute Australia, Jun 2011.
  4. International Statement of Ethical Principles in Fundraising. The Association of Fundraising Professionals, Oct 2006.
  5. Code of Ethical Principles and Standards. The Association of Fundraising Professionals, Sep 2007.

This Code of Practice has been translated into Chinese. In case of discrepancies between the English and Chinese versions, the English version shall prevail.


1Reference on fundraising regulations can be drawn from but not limited to the following:

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