Direct mail and door-to-door fundraising continue to generate the most consumer complaints made directly to charities, according to a new report by the Fundraising Regulator, which shows that the top 58 charities reported receiving 21,851 complaints in the year to May 2018.
Of the 5,239 complaints against D2D, the vast majority (31.1%) cited the behaviour of the fundraiser, followed by the time of the visit (25%).
Meanwhile for the 4,709 complaints about direct mail, most recipients (27%) bemoaned the number of mailshots they had received, followed by campaign content (13%) and fulfilment (12%).
The Complaints Report also revealed that between April 2017 and August 2018 the regulator received 1,504 official complaints and conducted 78 investigations and found that 63 of them (81%) had breached the Code of Fundraising Practice.
The most common breaches of the code concerned areas of the rules around general principles and complaints, third-party fundraisers and personal data, the report says.
However, none of the charities involved are named because the cases predate the regulator’s decision to name and shame all charities it investigates, a policy that came into force this month.
Fundraising Regulator chief executive Gerald Oppenheim said: “Complaints made by the public make an important contribution to the way we, charities and their fundraising partners learn from concerns and make improvements. We will continue to review and evaluate the complaints process and we look forward to working closely with charities to ensure high standards of fundraising practice are maintained.”
Fundraising Regulator Complaints Committee chair Michael Smyth added: “In a tricky year for fundraising, the sector has stayed resilient and demonstrated its commitment to self-regulation and transparency. There is still room for improvement in terms of how charities initially deal with complaints and manage third parties before issues are escalated to the Fundraising Regulator, but I have been reassured by the sector’s receptiveness to our recommendations and the willingness of charities to engage with the self-regulatory model.”
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