Survey shows support for charity deals

Most people believe charities should be allowed to accept donations from any company, without being hindered by guidelines, according to the survey of 1,050 people by think-tank nfpSynergy.

Some 55 per cent of people who recalled a charity’s partnership with businesses wanted charities to be free to make promotional tie-ups as they saw fit. Only 36 per cent called for guidelines on such activities.

The findings appear to contradict fears that such links should be approached cautiously. In May, the Food Commission hit out at tie-ups, such as the one between the British Heart Foundation and Tetley Tea, calling them misleading and in need of stricter regulation (MW May 2).

In a report on governance, the Charity Commission also warned charities that they risk damaging their brand’s reputation if they form links with businesses that are inconsistent with their ethical standards. It says charities should have clear ethical policies before entering such agreements (MW July 18).

But nfpSynergy director and report author Joe Saxton warns: “Companies and charities should not be complacent about the apparent lack of public demand for guidelines governing such partnerships and donations. Other stakeholders – notably the media – love to hear a good tale of unethical fundraising.”

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