Why your supporters are wealthier than you expect. Course details.

Who's giving away £1 million, and when?

Finbar Cullen | 18 January 2008 | Blogs

Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity collecting buckets

There has been some discussion recently on the prospect research email group on Johnny Depp and his millions.

Johnny Depp was reported to have donated £1 million to Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity. However, it seems “Mr Johnny Depp is neither visiting the hospital nor making a donation this week.” It could be the newspapers, etc., got the story wrong, or perhaps the donation will be made later. It’s one to watch, and it raises the question on how reliable reports like this are.

It’s always best to check stories like this with the charity. Of course, it might not be possible to confirm the amount that way.


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

Charities use different ways to acknowledge donations, and some donations are made anonymously.

Some charities state the amount donated (marvellous!). More commonly, perhaps, a number of organisations list “major supporters”, “platinum patrons”, etc., and elsewhere in the website, annual report, etc., tell you what that level of support means.

However, when I pointed this out to a fundraiser some years ago, she said that the information provided in different sections of the website was not true, and that some of the donors I mentioned had not donated at the stated level! She had worked there, in the past.

What is a researcher to do? Check, double check, and be careful how you phrase things.