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BHF bogus collection losses triple to £3m

BHF bogus collection losses triple to £3m
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BHF bogus collection losses triple to £3m3

Fundraising | Niki May Young | 6 Jan 2011

The British Heart Foundation has advised that its losses from theft of charity shop donations and bogus collections have almost tripled from £1.2m last year to £3m this year.

A spokesperson for the charity advised that the figures, running from April 2010 - March 2011 were a “conservative estimate” and are expected to double again to £6m in the next financial year. The estimates are higher than the predicted loss to all charities estimated by the Charity Retail Association (formerly Association of Charity Shops) earlier last year.

BHF compiled the figures in December in preparation for meetings with the police and MPs to create an action plan against the losses incurred by charities. The spokesperson also confirmed the charity would attend a roundtable discussion with minister for civil society Nick Hurd and the head of London's economic crime unit, DCS Steve Head, regarding the matter on Monday.

BHF has registered a 25 per cent drop in household collections due to bogus collectors or the collection of its bags by registered commercial collectors.

"Some bogus collectors will even imitate well-known genuine charities, using similar names and logos," added the spokesperson. "We are aware of one organisation which collects on behalf of ‘the British Charity Foundation’ and uses a logo which looks like that of the BHF." (See image below.)

The charity blames the increasing losses on the rising cost of rag due to an increase in the export of textiles to Eastern European countries.

Mike Lucas, retail director for the BHF, says charity shop donations are the "lifeblood" of the charity with BHF shops selling 80,000 items every day. “All profits raised from goods donated to BHF shops go directly to fighting heart disease – the UK’s biggest killer.

"Household appeals are a vital source of income for shops. Stealing bags that have been left out for our charity is akin to robbing people with heart conditions of a better quality of life," he said.

 

 

Mr S Berg
4 Mar 2011

@ Louise Richards, You need to start living in the real world! Try going out on a collection and see for yourself the amount of the "Majority of registered commercial (Eastern European) collectors" that are stealing on a daily basis,

Mr P W Flack
3 Feb 2011

commercially distributed charity bags are a total con themselves. the amount passed on to the charity is only about 5% compared to 100% when the charity collects bags for themselves. the public should be given an informed choice as to where donation proceeds are going and whether multi millionaires are being created from them - e.g. east anglian air ambulance collections !

Louise Richards
Director of Policy and Campaigns
Institute of Fundraising
6 Jan 2011

The Institute is aware that bogus collectors are a serious threat to the thousands of charities that rely on legitimate goods collections to raise vital funds.

However, despite isolated incidents of registered collectors taking bags they shouldn’t, the majority of registered commercial collectors are legitimate businesses committed to both high standards and raising money for charity.

Charities and commercial organisations are vital in the fight against bogus collections and bad practice. We have already seen this in the involvement of both in the revision of the Institute’s House-to-House Collections Code and the upcoming Cabinet Office bogus collections round table.

Only by working together will the charity sector rid itself of the association with criminal activity and be able to gain the trust and confidence of the public.

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