Regulator investigating fundraising complaints at Penny Appeal

11 Mar 2024 News

Penny Appeal logo

The Fundraising Regulator is investigating several complaints about different fundraising appeals run by the Penny Appeal.

Its investigation comes as a major donor to the poverty relief charity complained that she felt “cheated” by the charity over its delay in building an orphanage.

Ishrat Baig told BBC News that she was assured her £40,000 donation to the charity in 2017 would be used to build the home as part of a larger complex in Pakistan within a year “give or take a couple of months”.

But the BBC reported that building structures did not appear until 2022, while the charity told it that children would begin moving to the site from March 2024.

The Fundraising Regulator’s investigation does not cover the orphanage donation, Civil Society understands, but it follows “several complaints about different fundraising appeals made by the charity”.

“We expect the investigation will be published later in the spring,” a spokesperson for the regulator said.

“As this investigation is ongoing, we are unable to share further information at this time.”

Meanwhile, the Charity Commission, which issued an official warning to the Penny Appeal last year over a “breach of trust or duty or other misconduct and/or mismanagement”, said it would consider the Fundraising Regulator’s findings when they are published.

Last week, the Information Commissioner’s Office ordered the charity to stop sending unsolicited marketing messages after finding that it had sent more than 460,000 texts over a 10-day period in 2022 to 52,000 people who had not provided their consent.

The Penny Appeal has not yet responded to Civil Society’s requests for comment.

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