New charity website gives transparency to fundraising

Issue date: 23 March 2005


Issue date: 11/03/05

A new educational website on charity fundraising has been launched to build public trust in the voluntary sector and stimulate confidence in giving.

The website www.charityfacts.org, the first of its kind, provides a wealth of information including the reasons for the amount of money spent on fundraising and administration and why there are so many charities. There is 'behind the scenes' information on charity performance figures and a guide on how these should be interpreted. The website also informs the public about direct mail and street fundraising work and how successful these techniques are in raising money.

The initiative, led by Professor Adrian Sargeant, the UK's only Professor of Nonprofit Marketing and Fundraising at Bristol Business School, sets out to dispel some of the myths about fundraising and giving.

Over 90% of the public believe there should be stricter controls over fundraising activities, yet recent research by Bristol Business School showed that the public greatly over-estimate the amounts that charities actually spend on these activities. For example it revealed that the public believes that it costs twice as much to raise £1 as is actually the case.

The initial development has been funded by a small group of major UK charities including Cancer Research UK, NSPCC, British Red Cross and RSPCA.

Says Professor Sargeant: “The site will meet a very real need for education and information and make charity fundraising more accountable. Donors remain very concerned that charities may be wasteful and want as high a proportion of their gift as possible to be applied to the cause rather than being spent on other functions such as fundraising and administration.

“The aim of the website is to provide an authoritative source of information for existing and prospective donors, the media and researchers, covering everything from the rationale for expenditure on administration to why charities sometimes include pens in their mailpacks. The site will also outline best practice in fundraising and provide information on the steps individuals can take if things should go wrong.”

Charities will be encouraged to link to the site, giving their existing and prospective donors access to the independent and unbiased source of information for answers to their questions.

Ends

For further press information, please contact:
Chris Lawrance or Melanie Beeby, JBP Public Relations, (0117) 9073400

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