FRSB Complaints Report 2014

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1 FRSB Complaints Report 2014 An overview of charity fundraising complaints from 2013

2 Welcome Welcome to the 2014 FRSB Complaints Report. This report provides an overview and analysis of public complaints arising from the fundraising activities carried out by FRSB charities throughout A record number of charities completed an Annual Complaints Return for 2013, demonstrating the sector s growing commitment to transparent and accountable fundraising and presenting the most comprehensive overview yet of public concerns. This year s analysis identifies the most common causes for concern, key areas of improvement for consideration by sector leaders and practitioners, together with longer term trends in fundraising activity. Thank you to all 1,203 charities that contributed to this report, which enables the sector to identify and address trends in public concern, with the ultimate aim of enabling the public to continue to give to charity with confidence. We would also like to thank MetaMetrics, the specialist data analytics company, for the analysis it has carried out on this year s data.

3 Executive Summary The FRSB Complaints Report 2014 is based on a record number of 1,203 reporting charities (91% of eligible organisations), reflecting the growth in FRSB membership and the sector s increasing commitment to accountability and transparency. During 2013, the volume of fundraising activity and complaints rose considerably, largely prompted by the actions of a small number of major charities with particularly wide-reaching fundraising campaigns. The majority of small organisations continue to report no complaints at all. Key Findings 48,432 fundraising complaints were reported by 1,203 charities Those charities made almost 20 billion donor contacts, (the total reach through fundraising advertisements, direct mail, telephone fundraising, marketing, face-to-face asks etc) On average, the largest UK charities reported 515 complaints, while the smallest organisations filed less than one There was a 13% annual increase in the number of charities reporting their complaints to the FRSB, a 51% increase in fundraising activity and a 44% rise in the number of complaints. More than half (55%) of complaints were incurred by less than 2% of reporting charities 5,834 complaints were logged by newly reporting charities 59% of respondents reported no complaints for complaints required formal intervention and were escalated to Stage 2 of the FRSB complaints process in The majority of these complaints related to allegations of poor fundraiser behaviour 9in10 fundraising complaints come from direct marketing and public collections Complaints about FACE-TO-FACE street fundraising fell by 10% over the past year TheTOP3 methods for complaints are ADDRESSED DIRECT MAIL, TELEPHONE & DOORSTEP fundraising

4 Charity fundraising incorporates a wide range of techniques with some generating more complaints than others, however the average complaint rate remains low across all methods. Direct marketing (see pg23) and public collections (see pg30) dominate the fundraising complaints tables, prompting almost nine in ten complaints received. Charities report greater usage of direct marketing in 2013 and just over half (52%) of the charities that that raised funds in this way reported complaints about it (down from 66% in 2012). Just 2% of complaints relate to fundraising adverts and 15% of organisations that use this technique report complaints about it. Fig 1: Complaints by fundraising type 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% Direct Marketing (59%) Public Collection (29%) Gaming (4%) Events (4%) Advertising (2%) Other (1%) Fig 2: Use of fundraising type v/s proportion of charities reporting complaints Fig 3: Fundraising Complaints for 2013 Fundraising Complaints Fundraising Volume Avg complaint rate*** Addressed direct mail 16, ,400, Telephone fundraising 8,019 14,389, Doorstep face-to-face 7,041 44,346, Clothing collections 5,699 82,108, Outdoor events* 1,919 1,561, fundraising 1, ,959, Un addressed direct mail 1, ,940, Raffles* ,521, Lotteries* ,998, Street face-to-face** ,036, Private site face-to-face* , Television advertising ,280,441, Volunteer-led fundraising* , Online fundraising 347 3,961,549, SMS fundraising 287 5,778, Social activities* , Cash collections* , Corporate fundraising , Press inserts ,751, Other prize draws* 68 1,469, Prospect face-to-face* , Major donor , Outdoor advertising 44 2,442,013, Trusts/Foundations , Press advertising 19 1,643,865, Radio advertising 6 485,160, Totals 48,432 19,978,059,483 30% 20% 10% 0 Direct Marketing Public Collections Gaming Events Advertising Other * Volume for all fundraising is measured by number of approaches, except for these starred methods (see glossary of terms on pg46 for further details) ** The volume measure for street fundraising sign-ups is multiplied by 180 (source: Public Fundraising Regulatory Association) to approximate the number of solicitations made ***The average complaint rate was reached by calculating the complaint rate for each charity by method and then determining the mean figure of those values. % Charities using fundraising type % Charities using fundraising type that report complaints

5 RECOMMENDATIONS This year, the FRSB asked charities to provide additional detail about complaints relating to telephone and doorstep fundraising and clothing collections. Based on the analysis of this data, the FRSB has issued the following recommendations: Telephone Fundraising 2,392 complaints were received about the tone/content of the call accounting for 35% of all complaints received about the method. Practitioners need to ensure that calling scripts strike the balance between reasonable persuasion and pressure. 34% of telephone fundraising complaints were about a general dislike of the method and over 400 more related to data protection. Practitioners should pay particular attention to data management, donor contact preferences and to the TPS register in order to ensure that, wherever possible, calls are only made to those who are open to receiving them. 837 of complaints about telephone fundraising related to the frequency of calls. Practitioners should carefully review the number of times that they call an individual. Doorstep Fundraising 42% of all complaints about doorstep fundraising in 2013 related to fundraiser behaviour. In order to tackle public concerns about this issue, practitioners should consider ways in which behaviour can be better addressed through training and ongoing monitoring. The timing of visits generated the third highest number of complaints about doorstep fundraising in The IoF Code currently allows doorstep fundraisers to make approaches up until 9pm. This year s data suggests that this clause may need to be reviewed. The FRSB welcomes the IoF s recent announcement that it will be reviewing the Code. Throughout 2013, the FRSB has seen an upward trend in the number of people complaining about fundraising approaches being made to residences displaying No Cold Calling stickers. Earlier this year, the FRSB advised that the IoF Code should provide greater clarity on the status of No Cold Calling stickers and the required conduct of fundraisers in respect of them. The IoF has confirmed that this matter will be taken into consideration during the upcoming review of the IoF Code. 21% of complaints about doorstep fundraising in 2013 related to a general dislike of the method; this makes it the second most complained about issue. The sector should consider the feasibility of introducing a TPS/MPS style system for doorstep fundraising so that those who don t wish to engage with doorstep fundraising have an opportunity to opt out. Clothing Collections FRSB members were able to provide details on only 22% of all complaints about clothing collections; this highlights a potential issue with the logging and reporting of those complaints. Charities should review their complaint reporting mechanisms. The majority of complaints related to bags not being collected. Practitioners need to ensure that tighter controls are put in place to ensure that allotted times and dates for pick ups are met. 21% of the complaints about clothing collections that could be attributed to a particular cause related to concerns about the collection s legitimacy. Practitioners should ensure that bags are clearly labelled including registered charity number, address and, if applicable, a solicitation statement. Bags should also display the FRSB tick logo and, wherever possible, councils ought to be informed about collections that are being conducted under an exemption order. The sector should consider ways in which they may be able to work closer together in order to alleviate the potential frustration caused to the public by receiving too many bags.

6 Contact Info Fundraising Standards Board 65 Brushfield Street, London, E1 6AA Tel Registered in England and Wales. Company limited by guarantee. Community Interest No Registered office: 65 Brushfield Street, London, E1 6AA 2013 Annual Return data analysed by

FRSB Complaints Report. An overview of charity fundraising complaints from 2014

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