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GOSH Charity ‘deeply concerned’ by claims of D2D fundraisers using pressure-selling tactics

Melanie May | 26 February 2024 | News

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GOSH Charity has reported itself to the Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator over claims of D2D fundraisers using ‘pressure-selling’ tactics to sign up donors, and says it is ‘deeply concerned’ by the allegations.

Both regulators are now looking into the case.

The claims were made by a reporter for The Times who went undercover as a D2D fundraiser for GOSH Charity through IBA Global. They include fundraisers being told not to accept one-off donations, and being taught to use psychological motivators to persuade people to donate. The reporter also said fundraisers were sometimes incentivised to sign up as many people as possible, such as through a trip to Paris for top performers.


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GOSH Charity has stopped working with IBA Global and says it is “deeply concerned by these allegations and footage and does not condone any fundraising practices and behaviours that do not comply with high standards we expect”.

Its spokesperson added:

“GOSH Charity is taking this matter extremely seriously and immediately suspended working with IBA Global. We work extensively with agencies to train and support their fundraising staff and require that they fully comply with the Code of Fundraising Practice.


“We are now conducting a full independent, external investigation and will take further appropriate action if any breaches are found.


“Door-to-door fundraising is one of the most effective ways for us to raise much-needed money and engage with people. Without the generosity of our supporters, we simply couldn’t transform the lives of seriously ill children at the hospital now and in the future.”

Last November, the Fundraising Regulator revealed that door-to-door fundraising had generated more complaints than any other method made both to it directly and to a sample of charities. The total number of complaints received by charities about door-to-door fundraising more than doubled, rising by 110% (from 1,936 to 4,056) compared to 2021/22.

The Regulator is currently conducting a market inquiry into subcontractor use by fundraising agencies. This launched last October, and seeks to better understand how door-to-door and on-street fundraising sub-contracts are arranged and monitored in the sector. It plans to publish its findings in the next few weeks.

A blog written at the time the inquiry launched by Paul Winyard, the regulator’s Head of Policy, urged charities to review their subcontracting relationships. He warned that there was mounting evidence some companies operating as sub-subcontractors were using fundraisers who are “insufficiently trained and motivated by commission-based payment structures”. This, he added, had “resulted in high-pressure sales tactics that may well breach the Code of Fundraising Practice and threaten to undermine public trust and confidence in the sector”.