Charities Group 'Sorry' over Fundraising Tactics

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), September 7, 2015 | Go to article overview

Charities Group 'Sorry' over Fundraising Tactics


Byline: David Mercer Press Association Reporter newsdesk@walesonline.co.uk

SOME of Britain's biggest charities have admitted fundraising practices have "failed to live up" to high standards amid concerns about the tactics used on vulnerable donors.

The heads of 17 charities - including the RSPCA, the Royal British Legion and Oxfam - have signed an open letter in which they insisted that "no-one should ever feel pressurised into giving".

The Institute of Fundraising (IoF), which co-ordinated the letter, apologised for any wrongdoing by charities and said fundraisers would be "shocked" if they had caused donors "anxiety or stress".

The charities have spoken out after concerns were raised about the tactics used by some fundraisers, including the case of 87-yearold widower Samuel Rae, who was conned out of thousands of pounds as a result of charities buying and selling his personal details.

In the letter, published by the Sunday Times, the charities said the generosity of the British public placed a "big responsibility on all UK charities to behave well".

They wrote: "We know that there have been times where fundraising practice has failed to live up to these high standards. We are determined to change that.

"No-one should ever feel pressured into giving. The vulnerable should always receive the strongest protection. And we need to act quickly and decisively when any fundraising practice is found wanting."

They called for a new regulator to impose penalties for charities breaking rules on fundraising and promised to commit to a strengthened code of practice.

Among the letter's signatories are the chief executives of the British Red Cross, Marie Curie, the NSPCC, Cancer Research, Scope, Macmillan Cancer Support, Save the Children and the Alzheimer's Society.

The IoF said it wanted charities to introduce an "opt-in" system, preventing them from passing on details of their donors to other charities without the express permission of the individuals concerned.

Information on data-selling which is buried in small print should also be banned, it added. …

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