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Ian MacQuillin on donors' rights v beneficiaries' rights

Ian MacQuillin on donors' rights v beneficiaries' rights

In his latest blog post Ian MacQuillin argues that developments such as the Fundraising Standards Board have “codified the idea of donor-as-consumer and prioritised the importance of the donor in the charity-donor-beneficiary relationship while marginalising the importance of the beneficiary into virtual non-existence”.

He argues that we “have to start with fundraisers abandoning the idea that donors are consumers – they are not”.

A recent Radio Five Live phone-in on street fundraising confirmed to him that “the British public doesn’t view charitable activity as a trilateral relationship; they see a simple bilateral relationship between themselves as donors (or consumers) and charities, which are there to provide a service, or product.”

These current complaints about fundraising methods (or is it, more truthfully, the notion of fundraising itself?) are helped by the fact that “it’s extremely deep seated in a society that interprets the ‘voluntary’ in voluntary sector as referring to giving up your time to help, rather than being funded by voluntary contributions.”

MacQuillin believes it is up to fundraisers to try to restore the balance between donors and beneficiaries and move away from the idea that donors are consumers.

You can share your views on this and MacQuillin’s other thoughts on his blog.

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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