600 jobs go as charity backlash bites

600 jobs go as charity backlash bites.jpg newThe backlash over aggressive charity marketing is starting to unravel with the closure of two telephone fundraising firms in less than a week, and the combined loss of nearly 600 jobs.
Fundraising Initiatives Group (FIG) has announced that its telemarketing operation R Fundraising will close with the loss of 99 jobs, while GoGen has also been axed, at a cost of 485 jobs.
GoGen, which launched in 2000, was at the centre of a raft of claims made by the Daily Mail, based on an undercover reporter working for the agency. The newspaper alleged that GoGen staff regularly phoned those registered with the Telephone Preference Service, as well as vulnerable people who were suffering from dementia.
Although a smaller operation, the closure of R Fundraising is even more painful for FIG as it only bought the business in January. The group insists its decision does not stem from the loss of any clients, but was due to the media backlash which had “adversely changed public perception of the practice”.
The company released a statement which said: “The board has decided that current market conditions have given it no choice but to close R Fundraising as its position has become untenable.
“R Fundraising Ltd will shortly be placed into administration, with a total of 99 staff being made redundant.” Some 82 jobs will go in Dunfermline; 17 in Manchester.
The group says it is planning a major business restructure and a full strategic review of its global business. Group managing director Hamish Horton, the former chief executive of Valldata, joined the firm just two months ago.
It has also recruited founder and managing director of face-to-face agency Clear Fundraising Josh Pinder as director of innovation, while. Gordon Michie, previously a director of R Fundraising, has been made group client services director.

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