Fundraising Initiatives Ltd owed over £3m to to various creditors, including 13 charities, when it went into administration last year, according to the statement of affairs recently filed with Companies House.
The draft estimated statement of affairs, published on Companies House on 31 December 2015, showed that as of 30 October 2015, FIL owed over £3.3m to various unsecured creditors. Among these were 13 different charities to whom the agency collectively owed over £330,000.
FIL owed Action for Children £71,308, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home £43,005 and the British Red Cross £37,390. It also owed money to other top 50 charities including Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie and the British Heart Foundation.
The statement also shows that, as of 30 October, FIL owed £95,239 to the Redundancy Payment Service. The joint administrators also listed 19 former employees as unsecured creditors, including former directors Gordon Michie and Hamish Horton.
Five other companies in the wider Fundraising Initiatives Group were also listed amongst the former agency’s unsecured creditors, including Global Customer Acquisitions, to whom over £200,000 was owed at the time FIL went into administration.
FIL’s crown debt was also substantial as the statement showed the now defunct agency owed over £600,000 to HMRC, including £428,688 in VAT.
Fundraising Initiatives (Holdings) Ltd – the wider group’s parent company – is also listed as being an unsecured creditor, having loaned over £1.4m to FIL at the time of its going into administration. Fundraising Initiatives Ltd was also in turn providing loans to Person to Person Direct Ltd – another member of the FIL group – which went into administration on the same day as FIL.
The administrators said that the reason for the collapse of FIL was that “over time, margins were gradually decreasing due to increasing fees being charged by professional fundraising organisations (PFOs) and the market place was changing such that relationships with charities were deteriorating as PFOs began liaising with the charities directly”.
The administrators also note that the company had been “involved in two protracted legal battles lasting collectively eleven years” which resulted in “undisclosed settlements” and FIL “incurring associated costs accumulating to millions of pounds over the duration of the cases”.
Since August 2015, five other face-to-face and telephone fundraising agencies which made up the wider Fundraising Initiatives group have gone into administration and/or liquidation.
Fundraising Initiatives (Holdings) Ltd, along with another member organisations of the wider group Premier Contact are currently listed as being overdue with filing their accounts on Companies House, but are still seemingly operational.