As ever, the Mail’s recent article on fundraising needs to be taken with a bag of salt. Whilst the charities mentioned need to respond rapidly and publicly, all the charities I have been involved with de-duplicated their mailing lists against both telephone preference service and the mailing preference service lists; did not use the phone to cold call prospects and never sold lists of their supporters.
Doing anything else was anathema to professional fundraisers, counter-productive and instinctively wrong.
There is no evidence that our profession is in anyway responsible for the tragic death of Olive Cooke, and the response of the Institute of Fundraising and the Fundraising Standards Board to tighten their code of practice is to be applauded; as is the detail of that tightening which moves all the ‘oughts’ to ‘musts’ which makes the code a far more effective tool for good practice.
Yes, as in every profession there is occasionally bad practice and the press is admirable in policing our actions, but no one should use this occasion to abandon good practice and the excellent fundraising programmes that enable huge number of people to live better lives, and in so many cases to live life at all.