UK town bans street fundraising

Research | February 23, 2012

Burnley, a town in England, has banned street fundraising most days of the week. Leader of the town council gave this reason: “Our first concern has been for shoppers and others using the town centre. We know a number of shoppers had started to avoid parts of St James Street, having been repeatedly approached by charity collectors operating in the area in the past.”

So now, only two charity collectors can be stationed at one of two specific sites, on Tuesdays and Thursdays only. The rest of the time, Burnley streets will be free from charity solicitations.

The city of Newcastle is also considering by-laws to restrict the areas and times in which fundraisers can operate on the street, citing “aggressive” behavior from some of the collectors.

Sometimes it can be a fine balance between letting charities raise money and them being a nuisance. I’ll admit it, I’ve crossed the street to avoid being asked to give. Now, I just say I do all my giving through Chimp. They might not know what Chimp is (yet), but it’s a legit excuse and I don’t feel bad not giving to them.

What do you think of street fundraising? Do you think it should be restricted by the city? Do you ever give to them, sign their petitions, or stop to talk? Does it depend on who’s asking and what they’re asking for? Do you ignore them, and do you feel guilty if you do?

More on the Burnley banning and Newcastle by-law if you’re interested.

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