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Fundraising overhaul needed as 'difficult' tactics exposed

Fundraising agencies have been putting "too much pressure" on people to donate more money to charity, as well as trading and swapping people's personal details, the head of a review has said.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, told ITV News that such "difficult" practices had shocked members of the public and needed to be looked at.

Sir Stuart headed a review into current fundraising systems, which called for a tightening of standards to help protect people from being bombarded.

It comes after a string of well-publicised cases where vulnerable people were repeatedly targeted and badgered for more donations.

Among the powers Sir Stuart recommended for a new regulator were:

  • Ability to 'name and shame' those which break the rules
  • Temporary bans on charities carrying out certain kinds of fundraising if they are found to be misbehaving
  • Ability to refer to The Charity Commission, which can take legal action
  • A fundraising opt-out service for people to request they do not receive any calls

Current fundraising protections 'next to useless'

A man whose vulnerable father lost tens of thousands of pounds to phone scammers has told of his concerns over the way charities are able to raise money - and said current systems were "next to useless" in protecting people.

Chris Rae told ITV's Good Morning Britain that he felt change needed to come from the charities themselves.

It comes after a review by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations said the current self-regulatory system was "no longer fit for purpose".

Mr Rae's father Samuel lost £35,000 to scammers after charities passed on his personal information at least 200 times - because he forgot to tick a box on a form asking for his details to be kept private.

Mr Rae said the Telephone Preference System (TPS) - the official opt-out register on which you can record your preference not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls - was "next to useless" and had not helped his father.

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Student's campaign for homeless man raises £25k

A campaign to raise money for a homeless man who offered a student his last £3 so that she could get home safely after a night out has managed to raise more than £25k.

The fundraising page to 'Help Robbie' Credit: GoGetFunding

The Help Robbie fund was set up by former University of Central Lancashire student Dominique Harrison-Bentzen who, although refusing to take the man's money when he offered it to her on December 4, was so touched by the gesture she set out to track him down and help him get off the streets.

Harrison-Bentzen found Robbie with the help of Facebook and her subsequent fundraising campaign to raise money for the Preston-based homeless man to be rehoused, and helped back into work after seven months on the streets, has so far seen 4,028 people donate a total of £25,195.25.

Posting on the fundraising page Harrison-Bentzen thanked everyone for their support and said: "Together our small act of kindness can change someone's life this Christmas and finally get him off the streets safe and warm."

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