The legal director of the Fundraising Regulator has told the sector it is not out of the woods yet with more negative stories about charities likely to appear in the national media in the coming weeks.
Speaking at an event in London late last week, Kenneth Dibble said he has seen evidence of material for further bad press, but refused to elaborate further.
According to Third Sector, Dibble said: “From where I sit there are possibly some bad stories to come, so we’re not at the end of this. The media is clearly out of sympathy with charities, and that is going to continue.”
Ever since the media accused charities of causing the suicide of Bristol pensioner Olive Cooke, the sector has been fair game, even though the coroner in the case later ruled that charities were not to blame as she had suffered depression for many years.
The reports triggered a chain of events that have seen the biggest shake-up of charity marketing for a generation.
Even the outgoing Fundraising Standards Board chairman Colin Lloyd conceded that the sector was “out of control”. More than 600 jobs went within weeks as two telemarketing agencies folded, while many charities were accused of using illegal marketing data to fuel their campaigns.
As recently as July this year, five charities – Save the Children, Children’s Trust, Unicef UK, Action for Children and learning disability organisation Hft – were forced to suspend their contracts with a face-to-face agency following allegations in The Sun that staff targeted elderly people with aggressive doorstep techniques.
Charities hit by new claims of aggressive fundraising
Oxfam and agencies savaged by charity watchdog
St John Ambulance in dock over targeting vulnerable
DMA maps out fundraising future for charity sector
Charities cleared over Olive’s suicide
Charities flayed in new data row
Charities using illegal marketing data
Charities hit again as row escalates
Charities in dock over donor blitz