The chief executive of the IoF has written to both the Fundraising Regulator and The Times newspaper regarding “some of the tone and language” used about the sector in an interview with Lord Grade.
According to a spokeswoman from the Institute of Fundraising, Peter Lewis, the fundraising membership body’s chief executive, has “written privately to the Fundraising Regulator to express our concerns regarding some of the tone and language used about the sector in Lord Grade’s interview with The Times”.
The Times published an interview with Lord Grade last Friday in which he criticised some fundraisers and third-party agencies as being “rogues and cowboys” and singled out university fundraisers as having failed to contribute to the regulator’s levy on fundraising expenditure.
Peter Lewis ‘disappointed’ by Times article
The IoF has published the letter sent to The Times newspaper after they published an interview with Lord Grade, chair of the Fundraising Regulator, last Friday.
In the letter to The Times, Lewis wrote that he was “disappointed to read your article published recently in relation to charity fundraising. Charities rely on the generosity of the British public to support their vital work. Poor practice in fundraising is never acceptable.
“That is why there have been a huge number of improvements in practice and regulation in recent years, which fundraisers themselves have been at the forefront of driving.”
In his letter, Lewis also said that he was “concerned by the disrespectful characterisation of face to face fundraisers as “charity muggers” or “chuggers”. This term is offensive to many who work in face to face fundraising as it portrays their important and regulated activity as ‘mugging’”.
In Fundraising Magazine
Lewis also criticised The Times for the interview’s frequent references to “the tragic death of Olive Cooke”.
He concluded his letter by urging the editor of The Times to consider the fact that “the overwhelming majority of charity fundraisers are firmly committed to high standards and making sure that the public’s experience of donating is always a positive one.”
The Fundraising Regulator has been contacted for a comment.