Save the children bans cold calling and forbids sale of donor data

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​Aid charity tightens fundraising policy after criticism in wake of Olive Cooke's death 

8th July 2015 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

New safeguards to protect donors have been unveiled by Save the Children.

The pledges – brought about after criticism charities were targeting vulnerable people – include banning cold telephone calling to members of the general public, forbidding the sharing of data, and greater oversight of fundraising.  

Supporters will also be able to “easily and clearly choose” how they are contacted by the aid charity – meaning it will never contact them if they asked not to.  

Called the Supporter Promise the new charter was launched on Wednesday (8 July), the same day as Save the Children published its annual report, which shows it directly helped 17.4 million children last year, and responded to 97 emergencies in 54 countries.

Save the Children is already collaborating with the Institute of Fundraising (IoF), the Fund Raising Standards Board (FRSB) and other charities on a review of the self-regulatory framework. It said it already complies fully with the IoF’s code of practice. 

We have to get the right balance - Justin Forsyth

Justin Forsyth, the charity’s chief execuitve, said supporters and donors were the “beating heart of our organisation” and recognised that the way it worked with them has to improve. 

“We have to get the right balance between raising much needed money, with making sure members of the public who want to help us save lives and give every child the chance to learn, feel respected and valued,” he said.  

“As our annual report shows, Save the Children will do whatever it takes to achieve a better future for children but to do so we need the backing of supporters more than ever as some other governments around the world are not doing enough to respond to the unprecedented numbers of humanitarian emergencies.”  

Save the Children’s Annual Report – Whatever It Takes – highlights that 2014 was one of the toughest years the charity has faced in its 95 year history, as it responded to 97 emergencies around the world. 

Working at full stretch to lead responses to huge humanitarian crises like the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and work in some of the toughest places on the planet like Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. 

Forsyth added: “Because of the tough choices we made, last year enabled us to reach more children and their families than ever before, raise a record level of income and enlist hundreds of thousands of people to support our cause. 

“In a challenging year, we’re proud of what we achieved, meeting and surpassing many of the stretched goals we set ourselves.” 

He said the charity had taken steps in recent years to boost openness and transparency – including publishing salaries of its CEO and whole executive board, publishing its own Accountancy and Transparency Report and complying with Charity Commission guidelines.