The Institute of Fundraising is attempting to crackdown on direct mail campaigns that aim to force consumers to donate for “reasons of financial guilt”. It is regulatory body is introducing a new code practice today (May 21).
The Code of Fundraising Practice aims to define “best practice” in charity direct mail by addressing “shock tactics” such as giving away a coin, or an expensive umbrella. The Code of Practice will also require charities to justify images or text that might offend consumers and will ensure they “portray the truth of the situation”.
Megan Pacey, director of policy and campaigns at Institute of Fundraising, says: “All charity fundraising needs to be thoughtful, relevant, ethical and sensitive – and direct mail is no exception.”
Direct mail is integral to marketing for charities such as the Salvation Army, which says it raised £5.5m through one appeal. The Institute of Fundraising is the largest individual representative body in the voluntary sector and has 4,500 individual members as well as 280 organisational members.