A dearth of fundraising activity has forced a Brighton-based charity agency to shut up shop following a 70% fall in business, despite never once being implicated in accusations of aggressive marketing practices.
Until last year, Personal Telephone Fundraising (PTF) employed 150 people on permanent contracts, including data insight and strategy teams. It worked for the likes of the RSPCA, Unicef, the British Heart Foundation (pictured), Blind Veterans, Blue Cross and the NSPCC.
It had already started to restructure the business and implement strategies in preparation for the switch to an opt-in marketing regime.
However, staff had been sent home for a second week in February when work “had not materialised as had been promised”.
The company, set up in 2002, has blamed the closure – and the loss of over 30 full-time jobs – on changes in the sector that affected its forward planning. PTF had net assets of £600,556, according to its abbreviated accounts for the year ending 31 March 2015.
Chief executive Jane Cunningham told Third Sector that the agency had “always been known for its high-quality fundraising” but the company was “unable to continue to trade in an effective manner”.
Cunningham added: “The dramatic change in our ability to do business meant that our overheads greatly exceeded the revenue that could be generated from the ability of our clients to fundraise.”
The row over charity telemarketing has so far led to the closure of both R Fundraising and GoGen and the loss of over 600 jobs. GoGen went into administration following the uproar over its fundraising practices, although former director Giuseppe Iantosca claimed the media coverage was “misleading”.
In a joint statement, the Institute of Fundraising and the Public Fundraising Association said: “It is regrettable that a long-standing fundraising agency that has partnered with many charities over the years has ceased trading. We recognise that this is a very difficult period for many fundraising organisations that play an important role raising vital funds for good causes.”
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