Helen’s first three months: Part 1
Observations from my first three months – best practice, regulation and compliance
In the three months I’ve been at Pure Fundraising I’ve learned a lot, not only about the industry but the people in it and the challenges we all face. In the next three blogs I want to share some of my observations with you.
Over the past two years, the charities sector has had to address some negative and often misleading headlines about its behaviour. Although there is room for improvement in some people’s behaviour and practices, it is sad much of the superb work that this sector is doing for the benefit of millions of people has been lost in the ‘noise’ around these stories.
What I have learned, though, is that the majority of people who support a charity are more than happy to talk to someone about where their money is being spent and how their support is helping. As long as they are treated with respect, they are, in the main, responsive and happy to chat to our callers. I have also learned that Pure Fundraising has an excellent reputation in the sector and is respected for its ethics and values, as well as for its results.
My aim is to continue to build on this reputation. I want to ensure we talk about the good that is happening in our sector, as well as face the tough issues head-on. Only then can we move away from the crippling fear that now runs through the whole sector and feel proud once more about the good our sector does.
Regulation and compliance
For me, having an open and honest dialogue about the relevance of telemarketing to help charities fundraise is critical to our survival. Charities are facing daily pressure from the media and some parts of parliament to suspend their telemarketing activity. In particular, there are many discussions around moving to an opt-in approach. This, I believe, would be a good move forwards as it will allow us to have quality conversations with those people who have specifically agreed that we can contact them. Interestingly, we are carrying out opt-in only calls currently for one of the largest UK charities and we are finding over 80% of those we speak to are happy to opt-in as long as there are assurances that they aren’t going to be called too often.
We take regulation and compliance very seriously and want to ensure we are leading the field in terms of both compliance as well as results. Where possible we will be working hand in hand with regulatory bodies and the IOF, and are fully behind sensible regulations to protect charity supporters and encourage supporter focussed fundraising.
We want to achieve excellence in everything we do and compliance is key to that.