Share

Astarita defends charities' non-appearance on Newsnight

Mark Astarita, British Red Cross fundraising director
News

Astarita defends charities' non-appearance on Newsnight1

Fundraising | Tania Mason | 14 Sep 2010

British Red Cross fundraising director Mark Astarita has defended the decisions by several of the UK’s biggest charities not to appear on the BBC Newsnight programme about street fundraising, claiming they were being set up for a “bear-baiting contest”.

Newsnight reportedly contacted more than 20 of the largest fundraising charities asking them to take part in the programme, but only the British Heart Foundation agreed.

Astarita (pictured), who is chair of the Institute of Fundraising’s Policy Advisory Board, denied that there was any concerted campaign to advise charities not to appear on the programme, and insisted that all those contacted by Newsnight made their decisions independently.  However, he admitted he had told the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association that he did not think it was a good idea for charities to appear.

“Newsnight wanted to set us up in a head-to-head situation with a small charity that hates face-to-face,” Astarita said. “It would have been a David and Goliath-type battle which nobody would have won.  It would have been damaging to the whole sector and so everybody made a wise judgement not to play that horrible game.

“You could tell by the way they structured all the questions that they had an agenda – it was not an ‘investigation’, they wanted to make their story stick.”

In the end, Newsnight was unable to find charities to take part and so at the last minute decided simply to interview a charity that uses face-to-face.  That was when the BHF agreed to take part, Astarita said.

He added that if Newsnight had proposed a straight interview from the outset, he expected charities would have been queuing up to defend the practice.

Graham Ellery
30 Sep 2010

About time you were prepared to defend the disgraceful activities of your chuggers/listen professional fund raisers, Mark.

Despite being asked 3 times not to phone us they did. Harassment?.

Will never give to the Red Cross again.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

Eton income rises to £62m; bursaries and scholarships cost it £5.7m

2 Mar 2015

Eton College posted a surplus of £3.2m in its last financial year and income from school fees increased...

Charity shops 'more popular than eBay', according to survey

27 Feb 2015

A survey conducted by nfpSynergy has found that Britons prefer to shop at charity shops rather than using...

Charities Property Fund reports £100m of transactions last December

26 Feb 2015

The Charities Property Fund has grown to £865m after reporting £100m of new transactions in December...

Commission 'concerned' about charities that ignore Lobbying Act

2 Mar 2015

The Charity Commission’s director of policy and communications, Sarah Atkinson, has warned charities...

Scouts appoint first commercial director

2 Mar 2015

The UK Scout Association has appointed Mark Hislop to the new role of commercial director.

Charities cannot use DCLG grants to lobby government, says Pickles

2 Mar 2015

Charities and other organisations will not be allowed to use Department for Communities and Local Government...

Daniel Phelan dies, aged 58

13 Feb 2015

Daniel Phelan, owner and editor-in-chief of Civil Society Media, passed away on Wednesday following a...

LinkedIn launches matching service to bring charity volunteering opportunities to 250,000 members

6 Feb 2015

Charities in the UK will be able to advertise volunteer opportunities to 250,000 LinkedIn members who...

Free guide to Bitcoin donations produced for charities

5 Feb 2015

Two Bitcoin organisations have launched a website and free guide to promote the use of the digital currency...

Join the discussion

Twitter button

@CSFundraising