July 16, 2012
Doorstep licence change will devastate vital charity
Cabinet Office could do away with regulations helping large
charities collect doorstep donations – a move that could cost the
sector millions of pounds – if it implements proposals in a new
Charities are required by law to apply for a
licence from relevant local authorities when they carry out
doorstep collections. In some cases, charities who carry out lots
of collections, like the British Heart Foundation, can apply for
a National Exemption Order which allows them to
collect goods across England without applying for licences.
Applying to local authorities for individual collections is not realistic, feasible or remotely sustainable for us
the Cabinet Office is now considering changes to National Exemption
Orders which would force every charity to apply for a licence for
individual collections. The BHF carries out 100,000 collections
each year and says applying for collections on an individual basis
could cost around £650,000
– the equivalent of
funding five specialist cardiac nurses for three years.
It could also lose the charity hundreds of
thousands in lost sales due to delays in acquiring
Our Retail Director Mike Taylor said:
“This is not a question of fairness but of pragmatism. Applying to
local authorities for individual collections is not
realistic, feasible or remotely sustainable for us.
“If the Cabinet Office moves forward with
these proposals it will simply divert vital funds from life-saving
research, prevention and care into form-filling and red
“It’s a decision that will undoubtedly lead to
delays in acquiring stock and have a devastating
impact on our charity shops.
Every one per cent reduction in house to house collections would
cost the BHF £400,000 in lost sales."