How is the Public Collections and Solicitations (Disclosure of Payment) Bill useful to growing donor income?
3 July 2015
Last week the 'Public Collections and Solicitations (Disclosure of Payment)' Bill came out of the ballot for private members bills in Parliament. This bill is in the name of Matt Doocey the National MP for Waimakariri.
Matt Doocey claims that the bill will require anybody collecting or soliciting donations, subscriptions, signatures or other support in a public arena to disclose whether they’re being paid or remunerated for their service. He advocates that the growing use of employed fundraisers collecting in the streets is contrary to the Kiwi spirit of volunteerism and he brings up yet again the old concern about the public having a right to be informed about where their donations are going and the overall cost of fundraising.
The way the bill is currently written it only applies to persons collecting or soliciting donations, subscription, signatures or other support for an organisation or clause in a public street or place. It makes no comment on the considerable number of collections on private property such as outside supermarkets or in the entrance of retail premises.
My immediate concern over this well-meaning but generally unhelpful bill is that it misunderstands the role and availability of volunteers and criticises our moves to professionalise charity fundraising which provides better value for donations raised for charities. It will also encourage debate to expand regulatory controls into telemarketing and crowdfunding.
I am working with the PFRA on this Bill which may not get beyond a first reading. Karen Ward and I will meet with Mr Doocey before preparing a formal response.