21 Aug 2009

Chugga Anga

Its not just me I swear. Here is an email a colleague of mine sent to a certain charity:

"Dear Sir or Madam,

I write to express my disappointment with Oxfam, of which I have been a
long time suppoter and once a full time volunteer for several years.

Last night my dinner was interrupted by a young man who stated he was
representing Oxfam. I immediately asked him, as I ask anyone who
approaches me representing a charity, if he was working for a profit
making organisation who were representing Oxfam, or if he was a
volunteer, to which he replied the former.

I have a policy, having been a charity volunteer most of my life, of
never giving money to a private, profit making company working as agents
for a charity. Profiteering out of other people's poverty sickens me,
and I was deeply saddened to discover Oxfam have followed this
increasingly popular route.

However, my concerns run deeper than this. In every contact I have had
with these paid fundraisers, no matter which charity they represent or
which company they are paid by, the conversation runs exactly the same;
I explain my position to which I would expect any respectable and
reasonable fundraiser to accept and move on. However, that is never the
case with paid fundraisers, who have a script of identical responses
that are reeled off. It is quite clear to me from these identical
conversations that the companies concerned are actually training their
employees to argue the toss with their "target". This fundamentally
goes against the guidelines set out by the Institute of Fundraising, and
Oxfam should be ashamed that people are doing this in their name.

This particular gentleman started to become quite aggressive and
perisistent with his argument, and realising that simply telling him
"no, I will not give you my money or bank details" was not going to make
him leave my doorstep, and I was forced to shut the door in his face.

I am apalled by Oxfam's decision to allow a company to make profit from
your charitable activities, and to let standards of fundraising slip so
far as to go against the clear guidelines of the Institute of Fundraising.

I would be grateful if this email could be forwarded to the person or
persons responsible for the decision to contract this organisation, as
well as to your director, so I can hear their responses. I would also
be grateful if you could provide me with the details of the company you
are contracting (if relevant for the process of identification, this
occured on XXXX Road, XXXXXXX) so that I can pass the details
of this incident onto the local council's licensing department and the
Institute of Fundraising in accordance with section 3.1 of their
guidelines on house to house collections.

Yours faithfully

XXXXXXX"

Far better worded than my efforts.

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