Over the last few weeks, there have been several news reports raising questions over the ethics and practices of fundraising departments of some major charities. The tragic death of Olive Cooke and the alleged defrauding of Samuel Rae – 92 and 87 years old respectively – have led reporters to conclude that charities pester and prey on individuals to secure revenue. The specific practices under the media spotlight include unsolicited phone calls, data-selling, and legacy profiling, as well as the lack of cohesive and co-operative regulations and codes of best practice in the charity sector surrounding fundraising. We would like to put forward a brief statement in regards to our own practices and principles of fundraising in light of the current scrutiny in the news.
We do not sell data and we never have. The personal details of our supporters are given to us trustingly and in confidence, and that is where they remain. We do not do any unsolicited mailings or phone calls. Any contact between us and our supporters is based on their preference to receive news, updates, and appeals from us. We believe that fundraising should be regulated, like other business practices, and we support any exploration into standards with the aim of progressing practices. We see that this should help the charity sector, thereby helping more people in need around the world.
A final note. It is saddening to see charities in the news for reasons other than the brilliant work that they do for the causes they champion. Instances of malpractice of any kind should rightly be reported and investigated. But we hope that charities as a sector will not be judged by them. We all rely upon the kindness and generosity of supporters and members of the public to continue our work. It is our hope that recent events have not dented the trust that our supporters have placed in us over the last ten years.